27th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival
director: Sasha Kulak
original title: Mapa
running time: 62 min.
synopsisIn Belarusian, “mara” means “dream,” but in the sense of “hope.” In Slavic mythology, the word denotes a female spirit that manifests in people's minds while they sleep and brings either dreams or nightmares. An artistic personification of the mythical being Mara roams through the streets of Minsk in 2020–2021 in the film of the same name. During the anti-dictatorship protests that took place, it served as a symbol of the hopes and subsequent horrors experienced by the Belarusian citizens demanding to have their basic rights and freedoms. For the director, Mara is her alter ego incarnate, which in poetic shorthand allows her to talk about her most personal fears and desires in the face of an unpleasant reality that’s hostile towards dreams.
“I didn’t want to make a typical ‚reportage‘ film. For me the most important thing was to show what trauma does to the human psyche.”
biographySasha Kulak (* 1990) is a visual artist whose work takes on a wide range of forms from cinema to photography and curation. Together with Ruslan Fedotov, she made the award-winning documentary Salamanca (2015). Her film Quicksilver Chronicles (2019), co-directed by Ben Guez, also received international recognition.
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