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)


Director Pavel Mozhar
Screenplay Pavel Mozhar, Kolja Volkmar
Cinematography Jonas Römmig, Konrad Waldmann
Editing Florian Seufert
Sound Design Jonas Vicent
Sound Moritz Zuchantke, Thilo Jacks
Sound Mixing Bertold Budig
Production Design Friederike Meisel
Costumes Friederike Meisel
Animation Laura Därr
Producers Kolja Volkmar, Pavel Mozhar

Produced by

Mozhar & Volkmar Film

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