In Kyiv, the war still seems inconceivable, but the pandemic forces a mother and her daughter to spend the lockdown in their shared apartment. The mother is a piano teacher who keeps giving lessons on the phone, on her kitchen table, with the same passion and perfectionism. Her daughter has an art studio at the other end of the apartment, yet she has swapped her paintbrushes for a camera. Ptitsa: a bird, in Russian, like those who brave winter on snow-covered windowsills. In her first film, Ukrainian painter Alina Maksimenko uses the duo she makes with her mother as a model to compose a double portrait inside their unclosed environment, devoid of any form of narcissism, which turns into a poignant meditation on loss and finitude. The story switches between two conversations. That of Alina and her mother, both preoccupied by their coming separation, since the daughter has decided to move out. And the conversation Alina has on the phone with her friend Inna, whose daughter Katya has just been killed in a car accident. How do you face loss? How do you stand it when life comes to an end? How do you keep it together when everything is falling apart? No lecture is to be given here, but Alina Maksimenko demonstrates, through the very beauty and decency of her film, that there might be some continuity, some renewal beyond the void. Through talking, first, when words are carefully chosen and spoken from the heart, as it is miraculously the case in each and every moment of Ptitsa. Through art as well, through the careful and meticulous shaping of forms that resist the chaos outside. The director makes her film, composes her frames as the painter does her paintings: alone, patiently arranging transparencies and opacities between the walls and windows of the apartment, welcoming depth at the surface of images.
- Flash Competition
- Flash Competition
Poland, Ukraine / 2022 / Colour / 31’
Original version : ukrainian, russian
Subtitles : english
Script : Alina Maksimenko
Photography : Alina Maksimenko
Editing : Feliks Mirosław Mamczur
Music : Vladimir Tarasov
Sound : Alina Maksimenko
Production : Filip Marczewski, Katarzyna Madaj – Kozłowska (Wajda Studio Sp
z o.o.), Alina Maksimenko.