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Minute by minute: this is what the collapse of humanity looks like. And it is very difficult to watch - voila! culture


Highlights: "20 Days in Mariupol" is the favorite in the race for the Oscar for best documentary. AP reporter Mstislav Chernov and photographer Yevgeny Maloltka go there to tell the story of the city. They accompany citizens who hide in a shelter, people who migrate after their homes are destroyed. They describe the destruction, the looting, the bereavement, the helplessness, the anxiety, the most terrible moments of all. The score: five stars/Walla! system, image processing Late February 2022.

The documentary Oscar favorite is a graphic and bloody portrait of a city destroyed by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as well as a reflection on the importance of documentation in an age of post-truth and cynical propaganda

On video: Satellite recording of the damage in the city of Mariupol/Photo: Reuters

The score: five stars/Walla! system, image processing

Late February 2022. Russia invades Ukraine, and its forces aim to take control of the industrial port city of Mariupol.

AP reporter Mstislav Chernov and photographer Yevgeny Maloltka decide to go there to tell the story of the city.

They did not believe that the city would be attacked with such force and such cruelty, and that within a few weeks it would be destroyed, its inhabitants would flee for their lives, and many of them would be murdered.

This process happened quickly before their eyes, until on the 20th day they manage to escape with the documentation from the besieged city.

Their journey is documented in the film "20 Days in Mariupol", the favorite in the race for the Oscar for best documentary.

The simple and direct name of the film suits its style, based on a feeling that there is no need to intensify what is already so terrible.

In these 20 days, they accompany citizens who hide in a shelter, people who migrate after their homes are destroyed, to a street that turns into a battlefield, to a maternity ward in a bombed-out hospital, to an emergency room that tries in vain to save patients, to burying bodies in a mass grave.

They describe the destruction, the looting, the bereavement, the helplessness, the anxiety, the most terrible moments of all.

Here is a small moment, not one of the worst: a meeting with Masha, who owns a cosmetics store.

Her house was destroyed, and her car burned.

Now, in a besieged city from which everyone who could escape, they are trying to rob her of the products from the store.

In such ugly times, the theft from the cosmetic store is a symbol of a reality in which nothing beautiful can exist.

"The city has changed so much, so quickly," says Chernov.

"One of the doctors at the hospital told me that war is like an X-ray: everything inside people is revealed. Good people become better. The bad - worse."

From "20 days in Mariupol"/courtesy of HOT8

War is the worst human condition, turning all logic on its head.

"20 Days in Mariupol" demonstrates this well without bothering to get into military descriptions or geopolitics of any kind, focusing exclusively on the civil society of the place and its unlikely battle to preserve itself.

It is a portrait of a city in collapse, of a society in collapse, and of humanity in collapse.

minute by minute.

At once.

with ease.

All it takes is a few days of bombing to destroy anything stable in our lives.

And all in HD, in real time.

what a hell

The camera records everything, even unbearable graphic moments.

A pregnant woman is taken to hospital after the bomb.

She and her fetus will not survive.

16-year-old Ilya was killed in a bombing while playing soccer.

His father wails over his corpse.

Kirill, a one and a half year old toddler, was hit in the head and died on the operating table.

The mother of 4-year-old Angelina begs the doctors to save her.

They don't succeed.

The doctor speaks angrily to the camera: "Look at Putin, the son of a bitch, the eyes of this girl, the doctors here are crying."

Everyone is crying in the room.

Everyone is crying in the hallway.

Even here at home, a distance of two years and thousands of kilometers.

A municipal employee who had to bury all these bodies together in one big pit sums up simply: "I don't know who is to blame and who started it, but let them all go to hell."

Smoke billows over Mariupol.

Chernov tells about his thoughts at the end of each day.

His own voice is sad, drained of energy, rage or crying.

He is one of the last journalists left in the city, and what he films reaches the whole world, in the hope that someone will see what happened in the unhappy city.

"We sent all the photos and videos. Note to editors: graphic content," he says.

"It hurts, it hurts to watch, but it has to be painful to watch."

From "20 days in Mariupol"/courtesy of HOT8

This is the other side of the docu, which transforms it from a professional magazine work into a masterpiece with poetic and universal qualities: the reflection on the courageous and forced role of documentation in the era of post-truth, on the responsibility of the journalist and the guilt of the survivor, on the thin line between what that he is filming, and the insistence on scripting the horror.

"20 Days in Mariupol" is on the one hand a critical documentary document, a stubborn and losing battle to tell the truth about what happened in the besieged city, and at the same time a sober look at the limitations of the influence of journalism, however brave it may be, when on the other hand a machine of lies and alternative reality operates much more intensively more to erase and obscure the very same act, works to tattoo the credibility of the reporters.

In this reality, and in the face of the world's indifference, bringing the truth to light is an almost impossible, and especially Sisyphean, task.

This is how Chernov describes how he spent a whole night trying to find a connection to send the documentation, but repeatedly failed to get internet - and just getting the documentation out becomes a guerrilla mission.

"I think about everything this country has gone through in the last eight years, everything I've photographed," he muses, "we continue to photograph and the situation remains the same. Even worse. The propaganda distorts everything."

Another time, as the camera witnesses the devastation to victims of the bombing of the maternity hospital, a local policeman tells him that documenting the catastrophe could change the course of the war, but Chernov is skeptical.

"We saw so many dead, dead children. How can another death change anything?".

More in Walla!

Ethan Green's Red Heart

To the full article

From "20 days in Mariupol"/courtesy of HOT8

It's hard when watching the movie not to think about the year that is passing through our region.

For the inhumane horror, for the destruction, for the disinformation and false propaganda, for the ongoing toll that war exacts from us as a society.

In our background, watching the film is a trigger, very difficult, but it is also easy for us, unfortunates like us and for real-time documentation of a catastrophe, to identify with the dilemmas it raises.

On the edge of the mass grave, in a scene that recalls some of the most terrible moments in human history, Chernov is heard saying: "My mind would really like to forget all this, but the camera won't allow it."

I know mine will take a long time to forget these sights.

must not forget.

When we forget Mariupol, the road to the next human low will be paved.

The movie "20 Days in Mariupol" appeared this week on HOT8 and is available to the company's customers


  • More on the same topic:

  • Ukraine

  • Mariupol

Source: walla

All tech articles on 2024-02-23

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