The award for the best documentary went to "Mariupolis 2" by Mantas Kvedaravičius. The film was screened at the 32nd FilmFestival Cottbus.
Mantas Kvedaravičius LT/FR/DE , 2022, 112 Min
Highlights from the war: bomb craters, a house that is simply gone, a pigeon fancier has just twenty of the 300 animals left, the two corpses in the yard are already beginning to stink. Lithuanian director Mantas Kvedaravičius filmed in Mariupol for the second time shortly after the Russian attack on Ukraine began. He never came back, was shot dead by Russian soldiers.
"Mantas was not the hero type," says Thanassis Karathanos, German co-producer of MARIUPOLIS 2. "His theme was to show people in very hard situations, extreme situations like just in war." For his debut "Barzakh" (2011) he went to Chechnya, in 2016 "Mariupolis" was released, the portrait of a city and its inhabitants on the brink of war between pro-Russian separatists and the Ukrainian army. Now Kvedaravičius wanted to revisit the protagonists of that time. But the war was faster: most of the scenes were shot in the basement of the church of a Baptist congregation, not far from the Azov Valley steelworks, where local residents found shelter in the basement. Under the beautiful early spring sun, the inhabitants of Mariupol register the wounds left by the war. "When the bomb hit, the owner of the house was torn to pieces and got stuck on my roof. He hung there for three days. He still had white gardening gloves on. ... After three days I took him down, put him in a wheelbarrow and put him in his yard," one of them says. MARIUPOLIS 2 is a documentary, not a war reportage. The camera takes its time, becoming a contemplative recorder of wanton destruction. Kvedaravičius' protagonists go about their daily lives in the destroyed city almost laconically. The sound of cannons in the background, at some point one is no longer frightened, and yet death is a constant companion of this everyday life. An everyday life, by the way, as it was before the intensification of the fighting in Mariupol in the weeks that followed - and, as we know, it got even worse. Mantas Kvedaravičius was shot dead by Russian soldiers on 2 April 2022, his fiancée Hanna Bilobrova was finishing the film. She left Mariupol with her fiancé's body in the boot of her car.
The approximately 4,400 members of the Film Academy were able to vote for award winners in several categories, similar to the Oscars in the USA.