the film was semi-secretly presented at the film festival by Derzhkino

the film was semi-secretly presented at the film festival by Derzhkino


The newly created festival of documentary films has ended Cinema for Victory from Derzhkino under the patronage of the Office of the President. He caused a lot of indignation within the film community: Derzhkino an institution with an illegitimate Board for the Support of Cinema, an uncertain strategy, a lost reputation announces the festival a few days before it begins. During these few days, he is trying to add films to the program.

The event takes place pompously and under the aegis Sean Penn as a member of the jury. The Oscar-winning resident of Hollywood himself did not make it to the Kyiv festival. Have you seen all the films in the competition program? question.

He writes a lot about the situation surrounding this festival Vlad Golovko. And the program director of the Docudays UA festival Yulia Kovalenko develops the discussion further about the crisis of cultural policy in the country.

As part of the documentary film festival, a closed screening of the artist’s film took place. “Buch” was eagerly awaited many questions have already arisen about the film. But it was almost impossible to get to the show at the Ukrainian House. But Yelyzaveta, a film reviewer at UP Kultura dry watched the movie And also talked to film critics who saw it and the director of the film and collected their feedback in this text.

Screenings of the feature film “Butch” have already taken place in eight US cities: Washington, New York, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, New Jersey, Philadelphia, San Diego and Boston. Organizers call these screenings closed.

Not easy was also able to attend the premiere of the film “Bucha” at the Ukrainian House in Kyiv. Which, in the end, did not turn out to be a premiere. At the beginning, the organizers of the festival Cinema for Victory announced, that “Bucha” will be a breakthrough film. But then, they probably guessed that a documentary film festival cannot be opened by a feature film.

So, the show was closed, exclusive accreditations for it were issued to a select few. Everyone who saw “Bucha” at closed screenings is forbidden to talk about its plot. The only thing we can say is: the events of the film take place in the Kyiv region, when it was occupied.

The basis of the film is a personal story against a global background – a man will take people out of occupied cities and villages despite the danger.

This film raised many questions even at the stage of ideation and formation of the team: the creation of a feature film during the war, the invitation to lead the filming process of a director who had previously filmed comedies and produced beauty pageant shows. The biggest irritant for many was the title of the film.

“In my opinion, one of the main mistakes of the authors of the film name. Many are triggered by the mention of this place. This wound will not linger for a long time.” – one of the few viewers of “Buchi” shares his impressions Artur Zayetsauthor of Media Business Reports.

“Therefore, when the production of this film became public for the first time, of course, it caused a heated debate. I think the name could have been chosen less triggering. Especially since the film is not only about Bucha.”

“The authors decided to take a loud name to attract attention, but it gives false expectations”, – the media critic also shares his conclusions Lena Chichenina, author of Detector Media and Espresso TV publications. If it were called in a different way, there would be no questions. There is the series “Carrier, example. There, too, the main character takes people from different regions. Well, they would conventionally call it “Carrier”.

The publication of the poster created another wave of disapproval – talks about Bucha, and is illustrated by Gostomel. The events of the film really take place not only in Bucha. But such inconsistencies prevent the film from having both cinematic and propagandistic value.

“After watching the film, I concluded that all these scandals could have been avoided if it had been positioned differently from the beginning,” – says Chichenina,

They would say that this is a tape about a citizen of Kazakhstan, who takes people out of the occupied Kyiv region. And that, accordingly, it will not be specifically about Bucha, but about the region in general. And the plot focuses on the main character.

Lena Chichenina, author of “Media Detector” and “Espresso TV”

“If they had said that right away, the audience would not have had the false impression that they would be told from beginning to end about all the horrors that happened in the city. They are partially shown, but they clearly do not demonstrate all the cruelty of the Russians, which, of course, downplays this tragedy,” – Chichenina, who herself is a resident of Buchi and escaped from the occupation, explains her indignation.

Many of my interlocutors complain about the unstructured plot of the film, which does not reveal the characters. Too much of a Kazakh who chooses the path of a hero and helps Ukrainians to evacuate. This film does not fully tell about the actual most famous Buchanan tragedies, for example, the death of Irina Filkina. It was the photo of a fragment of her dead body with a characteristic manicure that went around the world.

“I have questions about plot twists and characters, but they cannot be voiced yet, because the embargo is in effect.” in particular, says Lena Chichanina. “I’ll just say that the authors somehow revealed only two characters – the main character and the antagonist, a Russian colonel. All the others, including the Buchanans, are completely faceless, secondary people, so it will be difficult for the audience to sympathize with them.”

Therefore, the film fulfills neither its propaganda function, which the film team claims, nor its artistic function. Maybe because after the first closed screenings and discussions, “Buch” was significantly re-edited – this is the opinion of some critics. Otherwise, why show the working version of the film to an international audience?

Poster for the movie “Bucha”

The director of the film, Stanislav Tuinov, categorically rejects objections to re-editing:

“First of all, it is necessary to clarify what re-editing is. In the language of cinema, it is a repeated or new editing. This has never happened with the film “Bucha”. The director’s explanation was developed back in December 2022. Then, after mastering the locations, a storyboard was made, which was the basis of the shooting process and subsequent editing.”

However, the film underwent certain reductions. According to the director, short scenes were removed from it at the final stage of creationafter writing the final music and color correction. However, Tuinov is convinced, this did not affect the quality of the film:

The feedback we received had no influence on the creative process. For example, Kyryll Budanov said that in his opinion this is the best Ukrainian film. Or David Waganer (president of the Harvard Club) said that we should forget about the wall (we are talking about the wall with Mexico) and help Ukraine even more.

Stanislav Tuinov, director of the film “Bucha”

Tuinov is convinced that the closed screenings, in particular in the USA, were needed not in order to adjust the film to the audience’s expectations, but to make sure that “Bucha” is a necessary film and changes people’s vision.

Poster for the movie Butch

Poster for the movie “Bucha”

One more remark of the viewers of the film – a simplified, caricatured image of the enemy. Russian army generals in black uniforms and black cigarettes, who play the piano and have the soul of a romantic hero from Russian literature, are especially disturbing when it comes to showing this tape to foreigners.

“Crazy success with international viewers is, in my opinion, doubtful”, says Lena Chichenina. The film sought to be presented at international festivals of class A, but it was not chosen there. And screenings abroad are not mass, but closed. So, continues the media critic, the audience of the film not a foreign audience: “It seems to me that the target “Buchi” is purely Ukrainians, and not all of them. To a demanding viewer, the film will seem too simple and schematic, in many moments pathetic and caricature.

The film team eventually dropped the idea with A-grade festivals. Now they looking for a VLD platform to advance the ribbon. But the question of the potential viewer remains open: for whom is this movie about a wound that hurts, the type that wants to reproduce real stories in the form of a game?

There has never been such a rejection of an unfilmed film in the Ukrainian film community. For example, regarding the movie “CyborgsAkhtem Seitablayeva according to the script Natalia Vorozhbyt. Although it was filmed shortly after the tragic event it narrates – 2 years after the fighting at the Donetsk airport.

Perhaps, thanks to the powerful project team, which had a reputation and influence. Perhaps due to the film itself, where the author’s reflection is added to real events. It is what “Buchi” lacks.

A poster for the film Buch with a photo of Gostomel

Poster for the movie “Bucha” with Gostomel’s photo

“Not all people in our country will go to “Peaceful People” by Oksana Karpovych or to another complex film about war”, – Artur Zayets is convinced that “Bucha” will still find its audience.

It’s a simplistic story with no depth. Of course, it was possible to do better. And, I am sure, they will do better. But I do not agree with the complete cancellation of this film. The mass audience has something to watch. And let him watch it rather than Russian content. This tape can convey information about the horror that happened there. After all, from the point of view of the narrative, I don’t think that “Bucha” twists the facts or shows something that wasn’t there.”

To some extent, Chichenina also agrees with him – people looking for sentimental, uncomplicated stories should be satisfied.

“This is exactly the content that causes the reaction: ‘such a good movie, we cried’. Maybe tears are a kind of catharsis for many and that’s ok, but they are definitely not a measure of the artistic and intellectual virtues of art.” – says Chichenina. However, her “verdict” of the film sounds categorical. And she cannot be condemned for this:

“Personally, as a viewer and a resident of Buchi, this film did not satisfy me at all – I would like to see a more thoughtful and complex work.”


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