A Monologue about Home
Release Year: 2022
After the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, I reached out for a Ukrainian who studies in Beijing. Born in Russia, his father was Russian and his mother is Ukrainian. As the war escalates, his hometown was also bombarded, and his family breaks apart while his mom seeks for asylum in Bulgaria and his stepdad staying at home. He is about to leave China, feeling lost about his next destination. Gradually Mark and I have more resonance. And the pain caused by war start to strike me too.
What urges me to make this film lies in the fact that I still can’t digest that the war is at door under the illusion that it’s a peaceful age for at least half a century.
As an artist, without the power to wield a sword,I always wonder what I could actually do for people under such circumstances.During the filmmaking process, I encountered so much confusion too. At the very beginning, I intended to make a conceptual film by editing footages and archives. But when I invited several dancers to cooperate with me, one of them raised a question——we have not been through any war, how could we as dancers actually feel and express?
After repeated pondering, I decided to take the most traditional approach—making a documentary film, which is a powerful medium by telling stories with reality.After several setbacks, I found one Ukrainian friend who was willing to share his stories eventually. From a rigid interview to a relaxing walk on the riverbank, we gradually opened up to each other as friends. People suffer from war are not anonymous faces on TV. They are ordinary beings with bone and flesh. He is one of them. He told me that what he missed most is swimming in Dnipro river in Kiev in freezing winter, and he enjoyed watching his mom bustling about in the Kitchen. We became to have more resonance. And the pain caused by war start to strike me too.
Thanks for sharing your stories with me, Mark, Ihope everything will be peaceful soon. Because no one deserves to suffer from this atrocity.
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