Odessa sees ugly face of war

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In the framework of the 6th Odessa International Film Festival, Ukrainian film Captum directed by Anatoliy Mateshko was premiered.

Captum is the Latin for captivity, and the film indeed tells about captives – mainly civilians, who became hostages of a war. Since the film is of Ukrainian production, one might link it to the events in eastern Ukraine. But the crew insists it is a parable that could take place in every part of the world, facing a military conflict.

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The film is a trip to the darkest parts of human nature revealing themselves under influence of war, when social principles shatter, and unrestrained animal darkness blinds people making them forget, they are human beings. There are many scenes of torture and violence in the film. But they are well grounded by the creators. ‘I wanted a viewer to get through those tortures, to stir up a person, to make him experience at any cost’, one of the film producers Oleksandr Itygilov notes.

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One of the main objectives of the film is to remind people there is the war ongoing, there are people dying and this is something one must never get used.

‘We are leaving in two realities: war and peace, and this is wrong’, Volodymyr Horyansky, playing one of the leading roles says. ‘This is wrong to get used to war. People fight and kill somewhere there, and we are getting used to blood. And this is our reality. But we have to get back that feeling of fear, because bloodshed is not normal for a civilized society.’

Captum is something very personal for the majority of the crew, because many of them have their friends at the frontline. ‘While we were working on the film, two of our friends left for the war’, Anastasiya Mateshko, one of the screenwriters, recalls.

The film is rather impartial, it does not ‘label’ the characters involved. ‘We don’t say those who are from right are right, and those who are from left are wrong’, Anatoliy Mateshko says. ‘ It’s just that one becomes a dirty dog and another – doesn’t’. Anatoliy also adds that the film does not give answers, but it raises questions, which is also very important.

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Captum was shown in Cannes and had quite an influence on the audience, in particular, Catherine Deneuve was noticed crying after the film.

Aleksandra Demskaya EMPR.

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