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“Freedom on Fire: The Ukrainian Freedom Struggle” in Venice

When this is in the newspaper, the Venice Festival will end, prizes will be awarded and everyone will be home. But films will still come to the cinemas if they are lucky.

by Rinat Mummelter

I didn’t go to the festival this time. Ban the flight date, as well as exorbitant hotel rates this year. So I moved to the home cinema at the Mostra del Cinema. Selected films have been shown online for a few days at a time, including finds from the Orizzonti series, Fuori Concorso and Giornate degli Autori. I wish these films a real cinematic debut sooner or later.


I was deeply influenced by Evgeny Avinevsky’s “Freedom in Fire: Ukraine’s War for Freedom”. I wasn’t very close to the war. The documentary is 118 minutes long and is right in the middle of the action in Bucha, Kiev, Charkyv, Mariupol and Lviv.

Evgeny Afinevsky began documenting as soon as the war began. He leads us to the children in the subway, to the prisoners in the steel mills of Azovstal, to the streets and cellars of Mariupol. It leads to people, in their eyes, the eyes of adults and children. Anyone who dares to claim that any of this is true or exaggerated is having a hard time. The images speak for themselves and the danger of this inhumane war becomes tangible. “Before the war, I only knew about war through films. I would never have thought that this could actually happen,” says one of the injured people.

In the meantime, we can sit comfortably at home, complaining about everything and theorizing in the dark. This is why it is so good for us to see what life could be like, without destroying it randomly. In 2015, Avinevsky documented the Maidan protests as “Winter of Fire”. This documentary will go down in history as the first war filmed.


‘On the fringes’, ‘En los màrgenes’ looks at the fringes of Spanish society. The feature film directed by Juan Diego Boto focuses on a young woman (Penelope Cruz) who lived her last hours before eviction. A fate he shared with many. These many have formed a working group and are supported by a lawyer (Louis Tosar). He is risking his own life for this job. The private lives of those affected are also collapsing because the harsh pressure is too intense. It’s hard to retell this movie but easy to follow is this movie I want to see on screen. By the way, Penelope Cruz became a co-producer of the film because she was so convinced of the topic.


If Téona Strugar Mitevska “The Happiest Man in the World” comes to the cinema, then I recommend a visit. This time, the North Macedonian director of the book “God Exists, Her Name Is Petronia” tells about a speed dating in Sarajevo. All customers must wear the same pink apron, the organizers wear a leopard print. Questions must be answered, and there is also a lunch break to get to know each other better. The atmosphere of Sarajevo is no accident. A would-be couple trying to get closer in this movie revolves around the wartime past.

too late

Since Venice, it has become clear that Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel should be invited back to Bozen. There they showed “Vera”, again a mixture of fact and fiction, which focuses on Vera, daughter of Giuliano Gemma. Also in attendance was Walter Sapel, a former circus man, who can be seen in Covi/Frimmel in “The Shine of the Day” with Philipp Hochmaier, among other things. By the way: at Diagonale 22 in Graz, the series “Personal Information” was dedicated to Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel, and Romy 2020 went to produce “Records from the Underworld”, also a film that Bozen had not seen before.

Pictures(s): © and/or with © Archive Die Neue Südtiroler Tageszeitung GmbH (if reference is not available)

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