July 22, 2020 - Artist Cinemas - Oleksandr Steshenko, Kateryna Libkind, Pavlo Yurov, Roman Himey, and Yarema Malaschuk, In Memory of Antonina Nikolayevna on Lost Love
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July 22, 2020

Artist Cinemas

Oleksandr Steshenko, Kateryna Libkind, Pavlo Yurov, Roman Himey, and Yarema Malaschuk, In Memory of Antonina Nikolayevna on Lost Love (clip), 2018.

Oleksandr Steshenko, Kateryna Libkind, Pavlo Yurov, Roman Himey, and Yarema Malaschuk, In Memory of Antonina Nikolayevna on Lost Love
War and Cinema: Week #6

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Join us on e-flux Video & Film for for the online premiere of Oleksandr Steshenko, Kateryna Libkind, Pavlo Yurov, Roman Himey, and Yarema Malaschuk's In Memory of Antonina Nikolayevna on Lost Love (2018), on view from Wednesday, July 15 through Tuesday, July 21, 2020, and featuring an interview with the scriptwriter Oleksandr Steshenko by artist Kateryna Libkind.

In Memory of Antonina Nikolayevna on Lost Love is the sixth, and final, installment of War and Cinema, a six-part program of films, video works, and interviews put together by Oleksiy Radynski. To mark the conclusion of War and Cinema, all the films that were featured in the program will be available again for a 24-hour repeat screening on the last day—on Wednesday, July 29 from 12am till 11:59pm EST.

War and Cinema is the second program in Artist Cinemas, a long-term, online series of film programs curated by artists for e-flux Video & Film.

Artist Cinemas presents War and Cinema
Week #6: Wednesday, July 22—Tuesday, July 28, 2020
Oleksandr Steshenko, Kateryna Libkind, Pavlo Yurov, Roman Himey, and Yarema Malaschuk, In Memory of Antonina Nikolayevna on Lost Love, 2018
30:30 minutes

In Memory of Antonina Nikolayevna on Lost Love will screen as the postscript to War and Cinema, a program that focuses on the margins of filmmaking during wartime—specifically in, and about, Ukraine. On the surface, it might appear that this film, dealing with love, normalcy, and domestic violence, has nothing to do with the rest of the program, apart from the fact that it shares the same country of origin.

The film was created by a collective of artists and filmmakers as an adaptation of a script written by Oleksandr Steshenko, a Kyiv-based playwright diagnosed with Down syndrome. For years, Steshenko has been active with Kyiv’s Parostky Theater, which stages plays performed by actors with special needs. He is also an avid fan of Ukrainian and Russian family drama TV series. For his play In Memory of Antonina Nikolayevna on Lost Love Steshenko appropriates the form, language, and conventions of those TV dramas to deliver a scathing critique of a so-called normal, mentally stable society with the nuclear family at its core. The original script’s specific language and grammar, characteristic of Steshenko’s writing, have been fully preserved by the filmmakers. Importantly, the film adaptation also mobilizes soap opera aesthetics (including hiring some of the local TV stars of this genre) to fully represent the feeling of estrangement that marks Steshenko’s writing. Through this estrangement, the society of “normal humans” is revealed to function as an endless, bizarre war of all against all—an appropriate note with which to conclude this program.

Excerpt from the interview with Oleksandr Steshenko by Kateryna Libkind:

Kateryna Libkind (KL):
What makes you happy about this film?

Oleksandr Steshenko (OS):
Well, everything, everything, Kate—everything! Oh, I think you did really well, you raised such an important topic and situation [in the film]—husbands who beat their wives for adultery. If your wife cheats on you, you can talk about it, trumpet it in the mass media, write about it in the newspapers and fashion magazines, go to psychiatrists—but you should never raise your hand against your wife.

KL:
Yes. And after In Memory of Antonina Nikolayevna on Lost Love you started to write about different things. Like in your script International Doors into Ukraine (2019). 

OS:
Yes. It was about politics. I wrote about their attitudes toward us—the powers, the states.

KL:
I also know you don't want to write about political issues anymore. I remember Pasha Yurov once asked you if you want to write anything about Donetsk? But you said you didn't want to.

OS:
Because I'm scared for my people. For the people who are close to us. I'm scared.

KL:
Why exactly?

OS:
I’m scared that they will be killed, imprisoned by the state.

KL:
A lot of people discuss politics.

OS:
Kate, I understand—but here comes coronavirus, here comes the war between Russia and Ukraine. This is not mine. With regards to Lugansk and Donetsk—no. To Crimea—no. I don’t want to.

Watch the film and read the full interview here.

About the program
War and Cinema traces various cinematic engagements with the war raging in the Eastern margins of the European continent for over six years now—a war that was sparked by the military occupation of Crimea by the Russian military in spring 2014, and that subsequently consumed large swaths of the Donbass region in Eastern Ukraine. The program does not represent the fruits of the alleged “boom” in Ukrainian filmmaking that was observed, predictably, with the outbreak of war. Rather, it looks at the margins of image production in wartime. This program also strives to enable conversations between the films that do not necessarily belong to the same cinematic worlds—even if their country of origin remains the same. War and Cinema will run for six weeks from June 17 through July 29, 2020, screening a new film each week accompanied by an interview with the filmmaker(s). Throughout the duration of the program, more information on the films, their makers, and contexts will be published on the program convener's telegram channel

War and Cinema is convened by Oleksiy Radynski; with films by Yuriy Hrytsyna; Andriy Rachinskiy and Daniil Revkovskiy; Forensic Architecture; Yelizaveta Smith and Georg Genoux; Dana Kavelina; Oleksandr Steshenko, Kateryna Libkind, Pavlo Yurov, Roman Himey and Yarema Malaschuk; and interviews with the filmmakers by Oleksiy Radynski, Oleksiy Kuchansky, and Kateryna Libkind.

About the series
Artist Cinemas is a new e-flux platform focusing on exploring the moving image as understood by people who make film. It is informed by the vulnerability and enchantment of the artistic process—producing non-linear forms of knowledge and expertise that exist outside of academic or institutional frameworks. It will also acknowledge the circles of friendship and mutual inspiration that bind the artistic community. Over time this platform will trace new contours and produce different understandings of the moving image.

For more information, contact program [​at​] e-flux.com.

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