While the debut filmmaker’s “Pamfir” was screened at Cannes’ Directors Fortnight on Saturday, Ukrainian director Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk attacked the Cannes Film Festival for having a Russian director in its lineup.
Official Russian delegations are not allowed to attend the festival, but Russian dissident Kirill Serebrennikov, who has spoken out against the invasion of Ukraine, debuted his in-competition film “Tchaikovsky’s Wife” on Wednesday.
“When he’s here, he’s part of Russian propaganda, and they can utilise him,” Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk said on Saturday to Reuters.
Russian director Serebrennikov said earlier this week that Russian culture “has always promoted human values,” and that it should not be shunned.
Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk, a Ukrainian director, characterised the feeling of being in Cannes when his country is fighting a Russian invasion as “strange.”
“Everything that has transpired here does not belong in Ukraine, especially the tranquil life… “We live in an alternate reality,” he explained.
“Pamfir,” set in the Chernivtsi region of western Ukraine, begins with the return of a father, Leonid, to his family after months of working in Poland.
Leonid’s son Nazar is blamed for a church fire, forcing his father to take up a quick smuggling job, which enrages the local contraband lord.
The tale of struggling for redemption has resonance with the current struggle, with connections to Greek tragedy and the bible account of Abraham and Isaac.
“(The film) reflects the strength and might of the Ukrainian people, who are extremely resilient and will triumph.” “It’s simply a matter of time… because we can’t be defeated,” said Leonid actor Oleksandr Yatsentyuk.