Contemporary Ukraine from a less known angle – shot inside a monastery where the director searches for reasons why her young sister and her peers leave families to become nuns. This intimate personal film explores the intricate ties within sisterhood: biological versus religious sisterhood.
TSHODENNYK NARECHENOI CHRISTA
Ukraine | 2022 | 90 min
PRODUCTION: Natalia Libet, Vitalii Sheremetiev – Digital Religion LLC
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Sonya Gerasimova
EDITING: Kseniia Shyrokova
SOUND: Karina Rezhevska
MUSIC: Mykyta Moiseiev
Marta and Nastia Smerechynska are the daughters of a Greek Catholic priest and, as such, they both grew up with very strict religious values. However, as adults they took almost conflicting paths. Marta distanced herself from her past and went on to become an actress-filmmaker, while Nastia renounced all human possessions and chose the life of a secluded nun. To better understand her own dissociation from her religious family, Marta approaches Nastia after six years of silence and visits her in the place she now calls home: a convent of the Brides of Christ located in Western Ukraine. The two young women reunite in this isolated world and, however hard they struggle to accept each other’s choices and current realities, their meeting becomes a love letter to all women.
Polina Ohanova, 9 years old music talent from Ukraine, living now in The Netherlands, will have a short music performance before the film. The screening will be followed by Q&A with director Marta Smerechynska.
I didn’t really know whether the film would be interesting to others, it was just my personal investigation. But when we finished filming, I met our producer who told me that when she was about 13 or 14 years old, she’d also had this desire to become a nun. So we started working together, looking for funding and presenting our film to the film industry and I realised the film was interesting to other people. Then we pitched the project a lot and received several awards, which helped us during the first steps of editing the film. (ScreenDaily)
Sarajevo Film Festival, 2022 | Baltic Sea Docs, 2020 – Post-Production Award | DocuDays, Ukraine 2020 – East Silver Caravan Award, DOK Leipzig Award
Marta Smerechynska is a Ukrainian documentary filmmaker and actress. In 2019, she graduated as an actress from the I.K.Karpenko-Kary University in Kyiv and currently studies documentary directing at La Fémis’ Université d’eté while completing a master’s programme at DocNomads. Marta worked on her debut feature documentary Diary of a Bride of Christ for over 5 years.