Nationality: Ukraine

Kanten deiner Augen / Edges of your eyes by Yevgeniy Breyger

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“Gaps in the fog allow a look inside: A foreign environment, observing trees and falling birds.” Melissa Harms (A.K.A. MelissaMariella) directs and animates a text by Ukrainian-German poet Yevgeniy Breyger in this film from the Lab P project’s 2014 series. (The films were kept off the web for a couple of years, which is why I’m only getting around to sharing them now.)

ГІПНОЗ / Hypnosis by Hrytsko Chubai

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A Ukrainian poetry film directed by Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk with a poem by Hrytsko Chubai. Be sure to click on the CC icon for the English subtitles, translated by Iryna Vikyrchak, and see the YouTube description for additional credits. I found this thanks to the Ó Bhéal International Poetry-Film Competition shortlist for 2015. (The screening is scheduled for this very weekend, October 10-11, at the Smurfit Theatre in The Firkin Crane, Cork, Ireland.)

Як вишні / As cherries by Olena Huseynova

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Dariia Kuzmych directed, animated and edited this videopoem with poetry by Olena Huseynova and music by Heinali. It won first prize in the main competition at CYCLOP 2014.

See the CYCLOP-2014 playlist on YouTube, currently at 30 videos, for more Ukrainian poetry films, many of them with English subtitles. With the Western news media always focusing on conflict in Ukraine, it’s easy to lose sight of the country’s rich and complex culture. Watching these bilingual videopoems offers a glimpse into the way Ukrainian people think, what they value and what they dream about. Plus, they’re just very good films.

Кафка / Kafka by Kyrylo Polischuk

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Kyrylo Polischuk (Pol Ischuk) composed the music and text, and Viktoria Netrebenko is credited with the idea and editing of this Ukrainian videopoem. It took 2nd place in the main competition at CYCLOP 2014.

Взрослеют / Growing Up by Ksana Kovalenko

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A quirky, disturbing stop-motion animation by Eugene Tsymbalyuk with text and narration by Ukrainian poet Ksana Kovalenko. Denis Chernysh was the director of photography, and the actors are Victoria Klyosova and Roman Nemtsov. This was the third-place winner in the general competition at CYCLOP 2014.

Tsymbalyuk offers this synopsis in the description at Vimeo:

“Growing up” is an associative video, made under the impression of the short poem. It’s a story about growing up by pain. It’s about the ability to except the inevitable and to gain experience, when the treacherous knife in your spine turns out to be a key able to open new doors for you.

Пізнаєш мене (Myself Known) by Zaza Paualishvili

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An author-made videopoem from Ukraine. See YouTube for the text of the poem. Here are the credits:

text Zaza Paualishvili
music Khrystyna Khalimonova
video Zaza Paualishvili
editing Valeriy Puzik
translator Dmytro Shostak

This was screened at the CYCLOP videopoetry festival in Kiev on November 23 as part of a competition called “The Way” (До слова).

А у вас дім далеко від нас? (Do you have a home away from us?) by Anzhela Bogachenko

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What planet, era, realm, country are your letters from?
At this point, draw a palm, a house, a planet. Explain.

I’m just back from the ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival, where I saw many great films including this wonderfully goofy one from Ukrainian poet-filmmaker Anzhela (or Angie) Bogachenko, which with its dancing cosmonauts somehow speaks to my experience over the past week in Berlin (where I also met up with my British partner-in-crime Rachel, with whom I otherwise maintain a long-distance relationship).

You’ll need to watch this at 360p minimum to make out the English subtitles. The text of the poem in the original is here; the translation in the titling is credited to Ksana Kovalenko. The music is a song called “на крыше” (“On the Roof”) by the group VEN, according to a Google translation of the YouTube description. The film was part of a screening called “Triadic Dimensions” featuring films that used music and dance as well as poetry to “convey … the cumulative force of language.”

There’s also a version of the film with Russian subtitles.