Ungewollte Verwandtschaft

Unwanted Kinship
Six months after the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Russian army withdraws from some occupied regions and settlements, leaving a trail of shockingly similar traces of war crimes. In the reports from several human rights organisations and independent groups of journalists, there is increasing evidence that Russian and Belarusian troops in the occupied territories have also been pursuing the systematic destruction of the civilian population’s national identity. Based on accounts from civilian victims, the filmmaker addresses this system of oppression. The individual statements are voiced by two Ukrainian actors, while the streets of his Berlin neighbourhood serve as the film’s backdrop. To determine the responsibility he himself might bear for this war, the filmmaker reflects on his childhood and school education in post-Soviet Belarus.
by Pavel Mozhar
with André Mewis, Christiane Sill, Steffen Roll, Iryna Poplavska, Oleksandr Kryvosheiev
Germany 2024 Ukrainian, German, Russian 30' World premiere | Documentary form


  • André Mewis (Army Instructor)
  • Christiane Sill (Civilian 1)
  • Steffen Roll (Civilian 2)
  • Iryna Poplavska (Narrator 1)
  • Oleksandr Kryvosheiev (Narrator 2)


DirectorPavel Mozhar
ScreenplayPavel Mozhar, Kolja Volkmar
CinematographyJonas Römmig, Konrad Waldmann
EditingFlorian Seufert
Sound DesignJonas Vicent
SoundMoritz Zuchantke, Thilo Jacks
Sound MixingBertold Budig
Production DesignFriederike Meisel
CostumesFriederike Meisel
AnimationLaura Därr
ProducersKolja Volkmar, Pavel Mozhar

Produced by

Mozhar & Volkmar Film

Berlin, Germany

Pavel Mozhar

Born in Minsk, Belarus in 1987, he grew up in and around Berlin from the age of ten. From 2009 to 2012, he studied philosophy and economics at the University of Bayreuth. In 2015, he took up a film directing degree with a focus on documentary at the Film University Babelsberg Konrad Wolf. His short documentary Handbook, about the protests in Belarus in August 2020, won numerous awards, including Best Short Film at the IDFA in 2021 and at the Kurzfilm Festival Hamburg in 2022.


2019 Vizitator (Visitor) 2021 Handbuch (Handbook); short film 2024 Ungewollte Verwandtschaft (Unwanted Kinship); short film

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2024


Berlinale Shorts 3

Kawauso | The Moon Also Rises | Ungewollte Verwandtschaft | Preoperational Model

Sat Feb 17 14:15

Cubix 5

Subtitles: English

Screening for press and industry professionals | With accreditation only

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Tue Feb 20 15:30

Cubix 9

Subtitles: English

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Wed Feb 21 13:30

Cineplex Titania

Subtitles: English

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Wed Feb 21 15:30

HKW 2 - Safi Faye Hall

Subtitles: English

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Berlinale Shorts Go Kiez

Tako Tsubo | Jing guo | Circle | City of Poets | Ungewollte Verwandtschaft

Thu Feb 22 21:00

Sinema Transtopia

Subtitles: English

Berlinale Goes Kiez

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Berlinale Shorts 3

Kawauso | The Moon Also Rises | Ungewollte Verwandtschaft | Preoperational Model

Thu Feb 22 21:30

Cubix 9

Subtitles: English

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Fri Feb 23 15:00

Cinema Betonhalle@Silent Green

Subtitles: English

Shorts Take Their Time: Each film followed by a detailed Q&A

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Sat Feb 24 18:30

Colosseum 1

Subtitles: English

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