To Our Brothers and Sisters / Нашим братьям и сестрам

(Experimental, Ukraine, 1990, 10’, BW, Silent)

by Aleksandr Balagura

To Our Brothers and Sisters


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,

Film Author :

Aleksandr Balagura
Aleksandr Balagura

Aleksandr Balagura was born in 1960 in Luboml (USSR, actual Ukraine). He graduated in History from Kiev State University. From 1989 to 1998 he worked as film director at Ukrainian Documentary Film Studios. His first short film To Our Brothers and Sisters was awarded the Documentary prize at Festival dei Popoli in Florence in 1990. In 1991, he presented in Florence his second short film Widow-Street (out of competition). He has shot more than 20 documentaries among which Antologion (1996), Wings of a Butterfly (2008), selected in Festival Cinéma du réel and Torino IFF, Life Span of an Object in Frame (2012) – Jury’s Special mention at FID Marseille. His film Story for an Empty Theatre (2016), made together with avec Cesare Bedogné, was selected in more than 30 international festivals and received numerous awards as Best Documentary and Best Experimental film. He has been living and working in Genoa, Italy, since 1998.

Other movies: Salon expérimental

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