It’s the summer holidays, and forty days have passed since Larysa’s father died. In a fairy-tale sequence, the young woman traverses a swampy landscape where a group of couples surrender to their sexual desires. Larysa’s boyfriend Scar, a handsome criminal, is caught up in a spiral of crime in which he becomes ever more enmeshed as the story evolves. His is a world of post-Soviet prefab concrete buildings, Larysa’s a deceptively idyllic village community somewhere in the Ukraine. Their relationship soon becomes Larysa’s downfall when, all too soon, the family’s objections to it turn violent. Vitka is a little girl who also refuses to toe the line. Rebelling against her grandmother and her rules and regulations, she daydreams her life away in a fantasy land of surreal images.
The world in Marysia Nikitiuk’s feature film debut feels somehow wired; brutal in its moments of reality and yet beguiling as soon as it veers towards the fantastic. Regarded as the wild new hope of Ukrainian cinema, this writer-director has already won the ScripTeast Award in Cannes for her screenplay for Koly padayut dereva.
Ukraine / Poland / Macedonia 2018
87’ · Colour
Anastasia Pustovit (Larysa)Sofia Khalaimova (Vitka)Maksym Samchyk (Scar)Maria Svizhinska (Ostapivna)Petro Pastukhov (Vityulya)Mariia Trepikova (Lenka)Yevgenii Grygoriev (Kostik)Aelita-Viktoriia Avierman (Nastya)Alla Samoilenko (Tamara)Ivan Blindar (Sanko)
Born in Ukraine in 1986, she is a director, screenwriter and novelist. She studied at the Taras Shevchenko National University and the Karpenko-Kary Theatre, Cinema and Television University, both in Kiev. She has worked as a screenwriter since 2012 and began directing her own films in 2014.Filmography
2014 In Trees; short film · Mandragora; short film 2016 Rabies; short film 2017 Koly padayut dereva (When the Trees Fall); Panorama
Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2018