this speech was written during the second week
of the war in my home country, Ukraine
As a witness of the war in my country, and a creator, who now knows what war is from the inside, I saw this speech as a beautiful healing opportunity to gather the thoughts that were in my head over these past weeks that changed my life on before and after. For a start, I want to highlight that I truly believe in great opportunities filmmaking gives to us to influence the collective consciousness, to unite and to make changes to make the world better, more peaceful place. And these opportunities actually arrive from the nature of filmmaking itself. Today, because of the time limitations, I want to highlight just a few of many-many of them.


I believe that people do not just “want to make films”, they want to say something, as art itself is a great dialogue - with oneself, with other people, and also with different generations within time and history. I like the quote of Hayao Miyazaki “You have to be determined to change the world with your film, even though nothing changes”, and I want to go as far as to add that it does actually change. If the film reaches at least 1 person, or 1 hundred, or 1 million people, to make them feel, think in another way or even pursue a more spiritual path - it’s already worth making a film.


We live with, through and by stories. We make stories alive, and they keep us alive, it's a two-way process. For example, I can tell you a story of my teacher of French: during the first week of war she got stuck in her own house in the village near Kiev, where the Russian occupants would kill innocent people, they would run into their homes and mock them, making them kneel and ask for mercy. She managed to get to a safer place through running for days through the forest, as the road was blocked. And right after she did it, she invited us to continue classes, as she knew the emotional importance of having something from our lives back. This can become a story of endurance, of persistence, of the love for life - this can be the starting point for a film, and now each Ukrainian has a story worth making a film.

What I want to say with it - some stories make us grow and become better people, do the impossible for humanity. Other ones - make us kill and destroy. What happens now in Russia - is a domination of the second kind of story. And filmmaking, in my opinion, provides endless opportunities for telling the stories worth telling, and for reaching people with them.

More than we can admit, in this world, we are more like lost kids in the big shopping mall than the superior species that went above nature. We search for the ways not to feel alone in this world, to relate to something bigger than ourselves, in everything we are doing - politics, religions, even wars - can be seen as that. We need the guiding points, values and ideals for living, as we can not live just like that. Human beings need a great ideal, and we are always seeking a sense of our life to live. Art is another great way to make sense and reach beyond ourselves. By art, I mean all kinds of creation. I believe that all art comes from the same stream, strives for one thing, and is about searching for a deeper and more conscious life, for comprehending the world: inner and outer. On a social level, I see Creators as Guides that strive to reach higher levels and show them to society, making the exchange of wisdom and experience between generations possible. They guide people through the necessary inner transitions, moments of uncertainty to the moments of clarity, helping to overcome struggles, showing us what to leave behind and what to give space for- like shamans in old tribes. That is how art becomes a bridge between reflection, action, and
prevision. And again, through filmmaking, we attain to provide people with necessary guiding points and ideals worth living for.

Now the video is everywhere - it’s the medium for commercial communication as well as the form of entertainment, but its social, spiritual, and psychological functions are the most neglected. Filmmaking is the unique form of art that by nature unites in itself two essential factors for a global change: (1) filmmaking is the unity of many people while creating a film, it makes people involve, gather and be changed already in the process (2) filmmaking is the unity of all arts. A friend of mine once said: as cinema unites all kinds of art, perhaps, it has the power to unite all nations.


I believe that film communicates with the audience through truth and trust. I heard from the Ukrainian director that all films are real-life-based, no matter if its written “based on real story” or not, and it changed my whole perception. The point is that at the core of each film is the psychological truth that then gets artistically transformed - a human’s real-life experience base that creates the depth to which people can relate, otherwise it just doesn’t work and the audience can never be fooled. In a way, each film is a some some sort of statement: “I believe that life is like that”, at that point in time for its creator, who needs to take full moral responsibility for it.
For me, filmmaking is the main motivation to become a better healthier person. When taking any decision in real life, I’m always motivated by thinking: how can I communicate with many people through my films, if I’m not ready to do the right thing or to say the right thing to one person, even to myself, in my life?


Art can be outside of politics, but it cannot be outside of war - is the statement I relate to as a person who lives through wartime. I know that everything that I will create in the nearest few years in some way will relate to war, or will be perceived as such, wether I want it or not. Creating something unrelated to war will also be a choice of not facing it or imagining the life without it. War puts a trace on us deeply inside and it makes so on our artworks.

For example, the last peaceful evening with the children I was teaching, 10 hours before the war started. We made a video is about friendship, based on acceptance and respect for the difference of another person. While editing it, I realised how relevant it is now, as we are dealing with the aggression from the country that would never accept our independence, history, culture, values, and path. Everything that was before in our lives feels surreal but will always be essential. We had friendship, we had love and we had art. And we will embrace it, make it stronger, as now we know the value of it. This is how this simple video made by children became a statement under war conditions.

Friendship. 10 hours before the war
This video was shot during the last lesson of art film course I was teaching to children before Russian attack on Ukraine.
Kyiv, 23.02.2022

Cinema is a frame on the reality that enhances and embraces the parts it chooses to be on the screen. And so does war: it makes characters appear on the border, all the beautiful and ugly sides pushed to their limits. In the dark times we feel everything subconscious, metaphorical and deep stronger than usual. And the line between real and surreal, possible and impossible, becomes almost invisible. In our turbulent times, the film industry will have a sacred mission, many things will be rethought, in particular through the change of values.
I believe that the big importance should be given to the inner world of war: what in us, humans, provokes us to repeat the same circles of creation and destruction, what makes us choose to destroy and to kill. As all wars have a lot in common, develop similarly and have the common nature, I believe that change can come only from within: we need to have a deep understanding of both wars and humans psychologically, and especially the unconscious parts of our psyche, as well as we need to learn our lessons from the history.

It's a lot to process what one's psyche is going through during the war, what we feel, and how we think. When the war started, I began collecting the dreams of Ukrainians.
Through dreams, motifs, and symbols that repeat, I see not only the reflection of inner world of individuals but also of the new history of the nation. Therefore, I am searching for connections between the war and the inner self.
The last story: my friend once said that he wished people transferred more things from the real world to the world of cinema, including war, so they would not make it in reality and let them live in films. So let’s make more movies, and watch more movies, let’s live all our tragedies there and live in peace in our real-world !

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