RUSSIA 46 MIN
Interims, uncertainties, illustrated by the great search engine powers: for Yandex, the Crimea is Russian territory, for Google it is Ukrainian. And the realm of Facebook is only a keystroke away, not to be underestimated as a platform for ideological positioning. When Aliona Polunina tries to shoot a film about the Russian-Ukrainian war she meets Varya, a simple Moscow mathematics teacher with frizzy grey hair, naive eyes, health sandals, plastic bags and a notebook. Varya is strange, but a heroine: she canvasses her Facebook contacts in the country that became the declared enemy of her government overnight. Varya goes to Ukraine to explore a whole spectrum of political and national euphoria there (be it militant or pacifist, idiosyncratic or collective), which she emphatically tries to understand and communicate to her Russian fellow campaigners in defiance of the delusions propagated by the mass media.
It’s that simple step of turning addresses in a virtual social network into real contacts that enables Polunina and us, via the documentary camera, to regain access to a public that is threatening to sink under the military and media war – by regulated exclusion or an overkill of unregulated self-delusion. Varya fights against both wars.
Before making documentaries Aliona studied painting, and worked as a copy-editor at lifestyle and fashion magazines. In 2002 she won an educational grant and enrolled in the higher course for script writers and producers, in the non-fiction film department. She graduated from in directing and scriptwriting in Moscow in 2004.
- 57th DOK Leipzig IFF, Germany 2014
Main Competition 2015