reż. Mantas Kwedarawicius/Litwa, Niemcy, Francja, Ukraina, 2016/90 min
Mariupol lies in eastern Ukraine, where the Kalmius river ﬂows into the Sea of Azov. The city, which is centered round the steel works, seems calm but the encroaching conﬂict between pro-Russian rebels and Ukrainian government forces is tangible everywhere. A theatre ensemble is rehearsing a piece to commemorate Victory Day on 9 May; as they put their hearts into practising their song and dance routines, they hope their city will not be seized on the opening night. The daughter of a cobbler tries her hand at being a war reporter in front of a camera while her father discusses his faith with his female customers. The ﬁshermen hope, as usual, for a good catch. In spite of the explosions that can be heard all around the city’s perimeters, life goes on, accompanied by the pealing bells from the Orthodox Church and the squealing of the tram. Mantas Kvedaravicius trains his camera on a conﬂict zone and observes and accompanies the people who live there. Everyday life develops a poetry of its own, which occasionally can seem absurd.