Cinema and human rights

About 70 films from many countries of the world will be shown during the festival, among them – films-prizewinners of international festivals: One World (Prague), Human Rights in Film (Warsaw) and „ Stalker” (Moscow).

“We set ourselves two goals: do everything for documentary films to find its audience and consolidate forces and resources to help Ukrainian documentalists in realization of their projects”, – said Hennadiy Kofman, the producer of the festival.

In the framework of the festival special programs will be presented: “Russia – new language or the Russian existence”, “Democracy. The Belarusian version”, “Democracy. The Ukrainian context”, “Video-report on human rights in Ukraine for the year 2004”.

The festival will start with a premiere – the film of the Ukrainian film director Ruslan Honcharov “The Ukrainian choice”, that will impartially remind us the last year of life in Ukraine – the whole palette of political and thus – social confrontation.  

Authors of the film aimed at not so much depicting the history of the presidential elections 2004, as the Ukrainian CHOICE 2004, since in their understanding the majority of ordinary participants of the Orange revolution were fighting not for a concrete candidate, but for the change of the system of social-political relationships. In this sense the events preceding November 2004 seem to be not less important than the “Maidan’s chronicle”. So the film reminds the most resonance of them – starting with the disruption of the forum of “Our Ukraine” in Donetsk (precisely a year before the first round of the election on October 31, 2003), “election’s rehearsal” while  electing the mayor of Mukachevo, attempts and failure of the political reform, food and petrol crisis, electoral social-economic reckless schemes (like privatization of “Kryvorizhstal” or abrupt pension increase) and finishing with the most vivid episodes of the dirty electoral campaign. And only the second part of the film tells of the election falsification and revolutionary events that followed it – until the victory of the “orange” (that is the “last day of Maidan”, December 8, 2004). The authors didn’t dare to interfere with the course of this story with their own comments – in the film only direct participants of the events speak. It might seem that it can make the film understandable only for the informed audience. However, on the other hand, the Ukrainian choice 2004 made the whole country and almost half the world informed.  

Human rights activists and cinema artists united their efforts to show once again the horrors of the war in Chechnya and maimed souls of the young people who returned from it (“White crows – horrors of Chechnya”, Germany, 2004; “Peaceful life”, Russia, 2004, “Nord Ost: the theatre of death”, Poland, 2003); about injured hearts of the people who endured the hell of tortures (“Injured souls”, Denmark, 1996); to tell about the fears and hopes of workers seeking for the lost paradise in other countries, even risking their lives for this (“A bar at the Victoria station”, Poland, 2004), and also warn from mass conscience manipulations what is the violation of the right for the freedom of speech and information (“Killers of Russian newspapers”, France, 2003).  

According to Hennadiy Kofman, the producer of the festival, as distinct from similar performances that are held annually in almost all countries of Europe, films-participants of the Ukrainian festival won’t be divided into rubrics according to clauses of the Declaration on human rights.

He also stressed no film “will contain any instruction or propaganda”; the festival also doesn’t presuppose any awards.

Mr. Kofman also told that after the program is shown in Kyiv, during the next six months in a more compact form it will be also shown in regions of Ukraine. According to him, both debutants of the documentary genre and well-known masters will participate in the festival. He added that selecting films for the festival, its organizers were interested first of all in topicality and urgency of films, and also in interesting artistic conception.


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