King Lear: How We Looked for Love During the War
dir. DMYTRO HRESHKO
After thousands of Ukrainians find refuge in western Ukraine when Russia launches its invasion, a local director decides to involve displaced people to bring his dream to life – staging the play King Lear.
On February 24, 2022, the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine began. Millions of Ukrainians were forced to flee their homes, and many took refuge in Uzhhorod, a small city bordering four EU countries. Vyacheslav Yehorov, a local activist who works with his wife to help displaced people, realises his long-held dream of staging Shakespeare’s King Lear. The play allows people who were teachers, artists, engineers, and housewives to adapt to a new reality. This intense, compelling human drama, well-directed, gives us a new angle of the everyday life of the Ukrainian war reality.
Saturday, 25 November – 12:40 | Special Guest: Ukrainian choir Chervoni Korali
Sunday, 26 November – 13:05
KOROLʹ LIR: YAK MY SHUKALY LYUBOV PID CHAS VIYNY | 2023 | 93 min| Ukraine
|Polina Herman – UP UA Studio
|Dmytro Hreshko, Yurii Hotra, Mykhailo Pozheha, Rostyslav Zabolotnyi
|Ukrainian, Russian, English
FESTIVALS & AWARDS (SELECTION) Docudays UA, International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival, 2023 – National Premiere | SEEfest, South East European Film Festival in Los Angeles, 2023 – World Premiere | DMZ International Documentary Film Festival, Korea 2023
I met the beginning of the war in Kyiv, where I’d lived for the last 2 years. Having woken up from the explosions, together with my girlfriend and friends, with the roar of jets and rocket explosions, we drove from the capital to Transcarpathia, my homeland. This way I became an internally displaced person, like the other 11 million Ukrainians who were forced to relocate to safer areas of the country or go abroad… I started filming the volunteer movement and collecting life stories of the displaced people who settled in various parts of Uzhhorod – schools, kindergartens, gyms. Together with Vyacheslav Yehorov, a theatre director, whom I have known for many years, we came up with an idea to create a play where all characters will be played by relocated people. Exploring the characters of the film, I learned a lot about myself and how fragile life and our world are. Together with the characters, we will go from the inception to the realization of the play where everyone tries something for the first time, tries to stage a play for the first time, becomes an actor for the first time and finds something that gives us the strength to move on. And perhaps in the midst of war, chaos and the unknown, we will find love.
Dmytro Hreshko started to study documentary filmmaking in 2018 and created his first documentary that same year. In 2019, he completed a narrative film directing course in Uzhgorod at the Skalka 2019 film school and the CinemaLab course in auteur documentary filmmaking from the Kharkiv School of Visual Arts. In 2020, he graduated from the Indie Lab documentary film school in Kyiv. Since 2020, he has actively participated in organising events for the Zakarpattia Film Commission aimed to develop filmmaking in Zakarpattia. He also co-founded and became a programme coordinator of the Carpathian Mountain International Film Festival in Uzhgorod. He is a frequent participant of international workshops and pitchings, such as East West Talent Lab at goEast Festival (2021), Works In Progress: Ukraine at the Stockholm IFF (2022), Young Europe project organised by DocEu Foundation (2022), Filmmakers at Risk by Baltic to Black Sea Documentary Network and WATCH DOCS IFF (2022), Visegrad Pitch, presentation of Ukrainian film projects at the East Doc Platform (2023), the Beldocs pitching forum (2023).