To Our Brothers and Sisters / Нашим братьям и сестрам
by Aleksandr Balagura
(Experimental, Ukraine, 1990, 10’, BW, Silent)
1989, Demianov Laz Valley. A mass grave from the period around the Second World War is opened and reburied. Apart from the historical event itself, the subject of the film is the rare meeting between the living and the dead, face to face, reunited by that event. What can actually a living man do in front of another who is no longer alive? He can cry, he can pray, he can suffer…but what else can he do? At the end he reburies them in the ground. The film shows somehow both the possibility to put the living and the dead in the same frame, and the impossibility for them to interact.
“To Our Brothers and Sisters is not just about national mourning. I was interested in this contrast between the emotional power of the event and the “simplicity” of the ritual’s physical actions, which boil down to a tear.” Aleksandr Balagura, eefb.org