Film director Vitaliy Manskiy: Documentaries are not medicine, it’s rather a mirror

A famous documentary film director Vitaliy Manskiy born in Lviv, then studied and lived in Moscow. He moved to Riga. Today’s situation in Russia he feels as a personal tragedy two years ago. Manskiy presented his new movie Rodnye(Сlose relations) about the history of his family and modern Ukraine in Kiev.

  • I start to film movie, when an issue is exiting for me so much, that I will not regret to dedicate to it a year of my life. This is a very important decision to embark on a new project because our life is not endless. I should be fascinated by my project’s topic. Sometimes movie production helps me to overcome my own crisis. Sometimes I physically have to film such a movie as the Rodnye(Сlose relations).

  • Russian actor Burlyaev is in a blacklist and films, where he took part, are being banned in Ukraine. He is the odious figure but he has played in a legendary film Andrey Rublev by Tarkovskiy. So should we not allow to demonstrate this film due to that actor’s participation? He is only a mad actor and that’s why should we deprive ourselves of happiness of screening all film? These are difficult questions, we have to find experts who will be able estimate all pros and cons. If your enemy lies to you in Russian language, it will not be a fault of language. Do we have to mark questionable movies? I assume that it will help, because when you mark pornography, audience continues to watch it.

  • A clear message without the right to have one’s own opinion and perceptions exists on the posters only. The Art offers a person the opportunity to think and make their own decisions.
  • Propaganda often uses documentary films, but that kind of movies eventually made up and then they likely to become the opposite products. For instance, Triumph of the Will by Leni Riefenstahl. It glorified the Nazi regime and later was convicted by Tribunal. I think a lot of modern products have to be estimated by lawyers. Quite a few documentaries are being produced in Russia today, most of them are documents and instruments to analyze events. In the film Crimea Way to home Putin in detail tells about the scheme of Peninsula capturing, how this operation was organized. We should know your enemy thoughts, motivation. Probably, familiarity of your enemy promotes patriotism better then Taras Shevchenko. But documentaries are not medicine, it’s rather a mirror which allows us to take a look at ourselves. But mirror can’t make us up us, we can do that only on our own.

  • When house burns we can’t discuss what color wallpaper we will decorate it. That’s why discussion between relatives who live in occupied territory and Ukraine is very complicated. Once, when I was a young , I came home drunk. I was worried that my mother would tell me off. But she helped me go to bed and started to talk with me only in the morning. She was smart because there was no use talking to drunk person. So we should wait when people from other side are sober. We will have a difficult conversation.

  • When I was celebrating a New Year in Sevastopol I intended to shoot a great venue. But I noticed only three or two flags of the Russian Federation, plainclothesman held those flags.  They were not enthusiastic or eager to do that work. But I saw Ukrainian audience in Belgium who came with Ukrainian flags to watch Dovzhenko’s film. I am sure they did it voluntary. I have never seen something similar in Russia. This is unreal.

  • If you meet you old acquaintance far from your home, in another country, you will talk about Motherland, without saying a word.
  • What united German Democratic Republic and The Federal Republic of Germany? It was not a war. It was creating a civilized state, dignified and rich society. People who used to run in FRG, dug saps under the wall. They wanted to move. Now Ukraine is divided as a result of external aggression. So we have to create such good conditions in the country that people from occupied territory would want to join us and break the wall.

Photo by Olena Solodovnikova