Section: What´s left?



Mantas Kvedaravičius
LT/FR/DE , 2022, 112 Min

Episodes from the war: bomb craters, a house that's simply gone, a pigeon breeder with now only 20 of his original flock of 300, the two corpses out in the yard are already starting to stink. Lithuanian director Mantas Kvedaravičius returned to Mariupol to film for a second time shortly after the start of the Russian attack on Ukraine. Shot by Russian soldiers, he was never to return.

"Mantas wasn't the hero type," says Thanassis Karathanos, German co-producer of MARIUPOLIS 2: "His theme was to show people in very tough situations, extreme situations such as war." For his debut "Barzakh" (2011) went he went to Chechnya, in 2016 “Mariupolis” was released, the portrait of a city and its residents on the fringes of the armed conflict between pro-Russian separatists and the Ukrainian army. Kvedaravičius wanted to revisit his protagonists from back then. But the war was faster: most of the scenes were shot in the basement of a Baptist church, not far from the Azovstal Steelworks, where local residents found shelter in the basement. Under the most beautiful early spring sun the residents of Mariupol recall the wounds left by the war. "When the bomb hit, the homeowner was blown to bits and got stuck on my roof. He hung there for three days. He was still wearing white gardening gloves. … Three days later I took him down, put him in a wheelbarrow and took him to the yard,” says one of them. MARIUPOLIS 2 is a documentary rather than a war report. The camera doesn’t rush, instead becoming a contemplative chronologist of the wilful destruction. Kvedaravičius' protagonists go about their everyday lives in the destroyed city almost laconically. The thunder of artillery fire in the background, at some point they are no longer frightened and yet death is a constant companion in everyday life. An everyday life incidentally that was like that before the intensification of hostilities in Mariupol in the weeks that followed; as we now know, it got even worse. Mantas Kvedaravičius was shot dead by Russian soldiers on April 2, 2022, his fiancé Hanna Bilobrova brought the film to completion. With the body of her fiancé in the boot of her car, she left Mariupol.

Weltspiegel Room 2: Original version with English subtitles

Dounia Sichov
Uljana Kim, Mantas Kvedaravicius, Nadia Turincev, Omar El Kadi
Mantas Kvedaravičius

Mantas Kvedaravičius -

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