Piotr Pawlus, Tomasz Wolksi
Poland, Germany / 2023
82 min. / Original version with English subtitles
Bombed out streets, plywood boards instead of windows, destroyed Russian tanks. These are the recognisable signs of the Russian war on Ukraine, outward traces that are reproduced in the mass media. With these images as their starting point, the directorial team of Tomasz Wolski and Piotr Pawlus set out on a journey through Ukraine, from the cities in the west via Kyiv to Kharkiv. This route leads them deep into the experience of the war, from observing its consequences on the street to living it alongside Ukrainians. Sudden explosions near a bus stop, dinner in the bomb shelter in the repurposed Underground, hiding out with Ukrainian soldiers, cemeteries over which Ukrainian flags flutter like a thick grove of trees over fresh graves. Shot by shot, the directors substitute easy reproducible images that merely skim the surface of the war with a deep dive into the reality in which the country has been living since February 24, 2022. Ukraine's sovereignty is even underscored in the film's title, the proposition na ("on"), which has traditionally been used to refer to parts of former empires, being replaced with v ("in") to underscore its independence as a state. (Yuliia Kovalenko)
Production Anna Gawlita. Production company Kijora Film (Warschau, Poland). Directed by Piotr Pawlus, Tomasz Wolski. Screenplay Piotr Pawlus, Tomasz Wolski. Cinematography Piotr Pawlus. Editing Tomasz Wolski. Sound design Igor Kazmirchuk. Sound Piotr Piotr, Tomasz Wolski. Production manager Anna Gawlita. Co-producer Arek Gielnik. Co-production INDI FILM.
Piotr Pawlus, born in Wadowice, Poland in 1985, he studied film, cinematography and screenwriting and also works as a cinematographer and director. W UKRAINIE is his first feature-length work as a director.
Tomasz Wolski, born in Gdynia, Poland in 1977, he earned a degree in film and took part in Berlinale Talents in 2005. Tomasz Wolski works as a director, author, film editor and cinematographer. His most recent film 1970 was invited to more than 50 festivals.
Piotr Pawlus: 2019: Film dokumentalny / Documentary Film (18 min.). 2023: W Ukrainie / In Ukraine.
Tomasz Wolski: 2005: If I Were a Fish (20 min.). 2006: Klinika / The Clinic (30 min.). 2008: Zlota rybka / Goldfish (28 min.). 2009: Szczesciarze / The Lucky Ones (27 min.). 2010: Pomalu / Slowly (30 min.), H2O (8 min.). 2011: Lekarze / The Doctors (82 min.). 2012: Palac / The Palace (83 min.). 2013: Nie dla kazdego (co-directed by Piotr Stasik, 28 min.). 2015: Córka / Daughter (25 min.). 2017: Festiwal / Festival (co-directed by Anna Gawlita, 85 Min.). 2020: An Ordinary Country (53 min.), A Problem (15 min.). 2021: 1970 (70 min.). 2022: The Fence (15 min.). 2023: W Ukrainie / In Ukraine.