The truth for those who estimate their dignity

Yesterday in the capital’s House of cinema during the opening of the international film-festival “Human rights documentary films days” Ukrainian human rights activists expressed their satisfaction by the fact that at last in Ukraine one can freely speak of human rights and make films about human rights movement.

According to Yevhen Zakharov, the Head of the Ukrainian Helsinki Union for human rights, conducting the film festival is one of the ways to convey to the broad circle of the society the problem of governmental violence over a person and the main task of human rights – opposing such violence.

The festival was opened by the premiere of the Ukrainian director Ruslan Honcharov “The Ukrainian choice”. According to Mykhaylo Kukin, the project director of the film “The Ukrainian choice”, this documentary is a chronicle of what caused awakening of the self-consciousness of the Ukrainian people.

The authors of the film, mainly journalists who had to leave TV channels because of pressure and censorship aimed at depicting the history of not so much the presidential election of 2004, as the Ukrainian CHOICE of 2004, since in their understanding the majority of ordinary participants of the Orange revolution were struggling not for a concrete candidate, but for the change of the system of social-political relations.

The film reminds about the most resonance events which preceded “Maidan” – starting with the upset forum of “Our Ukraine” in Donetsk (exactly a year before the first round of the election, on October 31, 2003), “electoral rehearsal” during electing the mayor of Mukachevo, attempts and failure of the political reform, food and fuel 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.

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.

The film touched off a really lively reaction of the audience. The Ukrainian guests had a chance to go through the events of the revolution once again. They reacted to the plot of the film as then – sincerely: felt confusion of negative events and rejoiced at victories.

It would be not out of place for “victors” of the revolution to review the film too – to recollect how with the hope for the victory of the truth thousands of people were standing in intensely cold weather, boys and girls were lying under buses, were imprisoned… To review in order to recollect their promises… about openness and justice…

The Ukrainian premiere of the film “Citizen Berlusconi” was perceived a bit calmer. Probably because Italy is far away from us, though our country not long ago was on the threshold of the “Italian version” of development of mass media.

According to the information of the film makers, the Italian prime-minister Sylvio Berlusconi is the first tycoon of mass media in the history who headed a democratic western-European country. He manages 90% of national Italian television companies, directly or indirectly. Berlusconi is in charge of almost all advertisement – a tidbit for “businessmen” – and dictates his will to the majority of newspapers and magazines.

The film tells of those who try to stop Berlusconi, tell the truth about what happens in contemporary Italy. In the opinion of the director, today it is a lost case in advance…

As the media commentator Giovanni Sartori singled out in the film: “The freedom of view expression in Italy is under threat.”

The film itself already has its history. In Norway the Italian embassy was trying to remove the review of the film from the program of a festival in Oslo – this event caused discussion regarding censorship in this Scandinavian country, and in Czechia at a similar film festival of documentaries about human rights organizers had some difficulties with getting a cinema hall for demonstration.

Fortunately, in Ukraine there were no obstacles and the audience was able to feel all the acuteness of the problem the Italians face for a long time already.

Organizers of the film festival intend to show about fifty films which are to attract attention of the audience to hot questions of human rights in Ukraine and the world.

Olena Holiuk


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