VARYA by Aliona Polunina | Russia 2014 | 47'
Interims, uncertainties, illustrated by the great search engine powers: for Yandex, the Crimea is Russian territory, for Google it is Ukrainian. And the realm of Facebook is only a keystroke away, not to be underestimated as a platform for ideological positioning. When Aliona Polunina tries to shoot a film about the Russian-Ukrainian war she meets Varya, a simple Moscow mathematics teacher with frizzy grey hair, naive eyes, health sandals, plastic bags and a notebook. Varya is strange, but a heroine: she canvasses her Facebook contacts in the country that became the declared enemy of her government overnight. Varya goes Ukraine to explore a whole spectrum of political and national euphoria there (be it militant or pacifist, idiosyncratic or collective), which she emphatically tries to understand and communicate to her Russian fellow campaigners in defiance of the delusions propagated by the mass media.
It’s that simple step of turning addresses in a virtual social network into real contacts that enables Polunina and us, via the documentary camera, to regain access to a public that is threatening to sink under the military and media war – by regulated exclusion or an overkill of unregulated self delusion. Varya fights against both wars. Courageous.
- Barbara Wurm for the festival catalogue DOK Leipzig, 2014
2014 DOK Leipzig, Germany (World Premiere)
2015 Debut National Film Festival "Dvijenie" Omsk, Russia
2015 Moscow International Documentary Film Festival DOKer
2015 Moscow International Film Festival, Russian Programme
2015 Riga International Film Festival 2ANNAS, Latvia ***Winner Mid-Length Competition***
2015 Festival Film Dokumenter Yogyakarta, Indonesia
2016 DocuTIFF, Tirana International Film Festival
Director: Aliona Polunina
Producer: Nastya Velskaya & Aliona Polunina
Cinematographer: Dmitry Rakov
Length: 46 min
Format: HD-Video / color
Language: Russian, Ukrainian
Country/Year: Russia 2014
Production: Well Sky Productions, Moscow, Russia
Available Formats: DCP / Blu-ray / DVD