It has been a week since the 7th Odessa International Film Festival closed in Odesa. Within the festival, Dovzhenko Centre presented a Ukrainian retrospective, Margins of Freedom: Independence on Both Sides of the Screen, dedicated to the 25th anniversary of independence of Ukraine.

The program of the retrospective featured rare and often forgotten Ukrainian movies of the early 1990s, which, instead of presenting the official account of this period, show the lives of ordinary Ukrainians: Decay (1990) by Mykhailo Belikov, the first feature film about the disaster at Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant, Dandelion Blossom (1992) by Oleksandr
Ihnatusha, the absurdist comedy from Kira Muratova Sentimental Policeman (1992), the social drama Shamara (1994) by Natalia Andreichenko and the ironic comedy from Vadym Kastelli Hunt for the Cossack Gold (1993).

Margins of Freedom: Independence on Both Sides of the Screen explores the topic of changes happening in the Ukrainian culture after the country gained independence, and each of the films presents the audience a story in which the acquired independence manifests itself in different forms, plots and genres.

“We wanted to show what freedom was like right after declaration of independence. To show that it was different and was happening not only within Verkhovna Rada, but also at the household level, to the sensuality of people, in the society, in life and in art. Besides, it was a very interesting period in the culture and history of Ukrainian cinema: when repressive mechanisms, such as censorship, had weakened slightly, yet films were still getting the funding – people were able to make amazing absurdist experimental films”, said one of the program coordinators, head of the Department of Science and Program Development of Dovzhenko Center Stanislav Menzelevskyi, during the festival press conference.

It should be mentioned that, as the films are rare and some of them had been forgotten, all the screenings were run from film.

We remind that the 7th Odessa International Film Festival took place in Odesa from 15 to July, 2016. 

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