A tasteful and, at the same time, shockingly naturalistic image of the war in Donbas.
In his directorial debut, Loup Bureau reveals the depressing daily life on the front lines as experienced by young Ukrainian soldiers waging a positional battle with separatists somewhere in the Donbas. Long, hypnotic, black and white shots wander through endless labyrinths of trenches reminiscent of World War I. While the effort put into building them is painfully real, the makeshift shelters provide only illusory cover from enemy missiles. Death lurks literally everywhere and war is nothing like a romantic adventure. The director, who spent three months in the trenches, captures their atmosphere clearly, almost tangibly, showing fear, blood, sweat, mud and tears. Although the images ultimately turn to color on the screen, there is no doubt that the time spent in the trenches will permanently scar the characters' psyches.
2021 La Biennale di Venezia