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the indelible traces of the war in Ukraine

the indelible traces of the war in Ukraine

THE OPINION OF THE “WORLD” – NOT TO BE MISSED

The first feature film by Ukrainian Maksym Nakonechnyi, 31, was completed at the end of February, the day before the invasion of his country by the Russian army. Three months later, Butterfly vision was presented at Cannes in the Un certain regard category. And this, a few days after the opening ceremony during which the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appeared on the big screen of the Palais des Festivals, delivering a speech which had discussed at length the importance of cinema, its role and its perspective. about history. “We need a new Chaplin who will prove that cinema is not silent”he pointed out. Difficult, at the time of its theatrical release, to extract Maksym Nakonechnyi’s film from this context of which it has become one of the symbols.

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Since its beginning in April 2014 in the Donbass, the war has never ceased to occupy this director. In 2018, he edited Iryna Tsilyk’s documentary, The Earth is blue like an orange, on Ukrainian women engaged in combat. The testimonies collected in the film create the click, inspire the idea of ​​a feature film. Thus Butterfly Vision retraces the release and return to kyiv of a soldier, after a two-month captivity in Donbass prisons. A burning story that tackles the meticulous study of trauma and, beyond that, reveals all the complexity of a country, without ignoring anything.

Real studied with a scalpel

Through the testimony he brings, the words he constructs, the characters he portrays (elaborated from a long documentary work), Butterfly Vision plunges us into the heart of politics. The real is studied there with a scalpel, rendered in an almost clinical way, but without the inherent coldness which, most of the time, keeps the spectator at a distance and the emotions in awe. The latter, on the contrary, manifest themselves here in several places. In the language of the bodies, the chromatic palette and the texture of the film, the various visual elements implemented in the image, as well as in the disturbing and striking interpretation of Rita Burkovska in the main role: Lilia, alias Papillon, specialized in aerial reconnaissance.

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We discover her in the middle of a bridge where her exchange for Russian soldiers is to take place; then by jeep and on board the plane chartered by the Ministry of Defense until his arrival at kyiv airport where his relatives, his family and the televisions are waiting for him. The journalists recall the journey of this young soldier, messages and emojis from the networks are embedded on the screen, Lilia gets into the car which is to take her to a hospital. Through the open window, she watches the facades of the city pass by. These first sequences are reported to us like a report, hand-held camera, imperfect focus, image jump. Each step of the release is treated as a current event.

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