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"Where did you get such a chronicle?" Meeting with filmmaker Oles Yancuk

On December 1, 2016, a meeting of the audience took place in the Kyiv House of Cinema with the film director Oles Yancuk. In commemoration of the victims of the Holodomor he presented his most famous Holod-33 movie, 25 this year, and told the story of its creation.
Presenting the film director, cultural history researcher James Mace, 2016, Sergey Trimbach emphasized that the television premiere of this film in 1991 before the national referendum on the declaration of Ukraine's independence could not but affect the choice of the audience . "In this case, the Holodomor issue has not been as fully investigated as now, but was largely silenced", - added Sergei Trimbach. Then in her interview The New York Times Oles Yanchuk Said: This film is my personal contribution to the Ukrainian referendum on independence."
As Oles Yanchuk during the meeting told him, he himself transferred the rights to free presentation of the film UT-1 TV channel. Prior to this, the financial partners of the Transcarpathian "Lesbank" project decided that the directorate of the film should not return the loan granted for filming. Instead, representatives of "Lisbank" requested that efforts be made to "Golod-33" gain the widest possible audience.
As the film director told, the film's authors turned to commercial partners because they wanted to avoid interfering in the project in the case of public funding. As a result, a joint fundraiser was announced and a bank was invited to cooperate.
Since 1991, the "Holod-33" film has been broadcast on Ukrainian television every year.
This time, presenting the picture, Oles Yanchuk offered to watch a film about the details of the shooting of the film about the Holodomor. In these footage on the scene, James Mace, who at that time headed the US Famine Commission in Ukraine, and acted as principal consultant to the film, initiated Oles Yancuk's visit to the Harvard Research Institute. In an episode not included in the final version of the tape, James Mace appears in the image of a photographer who says: "Thank you very much. It seems to me that the Ukrainian peasants live happily ". Thus, the researcher of the Holodomor theme is ironic over the publications of foreign media, in particular, over the NYT in Moscow with its correspondent Voltaire Duranty, who echoed Stalinist propaganda and denied the Holodomor.
As the film director has told, psychologists warned that work on the theme of such a tragedy could become a difficult test for the crew. However, despite difficult experiences, their help was not needed. In the shootings, which were conducted on the Ukrainian lands and in the villages most affected by violent collectivization, the creative group was accompanied by good luck. So, when shooting a distinct dramatic scene, the snow went off. "This has become a real present, - remembers Oles Yanchuk. - Because artificial snow was a luxury in those years."
In the reproduction of painful events, the film group managed to create such a realistic picture that even cinematographers were surprised: "Where did you get such a chronicle?".
"Holod-33" became the debut of Oles Yanchuk in full-length cinema. The proposal to start such a film was received by Yuri Illenko shortly after he reviewed a short film by Olesya Yanchuk "On a Distant Path" (1989). By that time Yuriy Illenko was the head of the creative and production association "Earth" of the National Film Studio of the arts films named after Alexander Dovzhenko.
It was rare for the big screen to show the "In a Distant Way" tape, too, to view the audience. This story of the village family opens with a quote from the Gospel of Matthew "Blessed are sorrowful because they will be comforted." According to the plot of the film, the unhappy days of a simple boy and his heavily sick mother are like one on the other, like drops of rain. Their house is at the crossroads near the cemetery, over which landing planes. The peasants complain of this: "Human culture is determined by the relation to its cemetery", but ordinary people do not have a spare airfield.
In the dark reality of the mother and the son suddenly comes someone else, except for the priest. Several musicians sit at the table, talk, do not hurry from the house, and also agree to play. Will there be something extraordinary?
According to Oles Yanchuk, the script was created by the son of Vladimir Vysotsky, Arkady Vysotsky. The filming of the tape involved true musicians, who were specially brought to the pavilion of the film studio from under Rivne. " Actor Lev Perfilov appeared on the table, - Oles Yanchuk said. - Everything provoked the interlocutors in the frame with replicas, but our unprofessional actors did not have any idea how to react. They became their real vodka, half of the dialogue at the table - their improvisations. In three to four days the musicians received fees and went from Kiev without realizing what it was. " 
In the 1990's, "The Long Distance" film won the Ukrainian Film Festival in Los Angeles.
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