“Tender Age” – Ukrainian retrospective at the 8th OIFF
The OIFF in cooperation with the National Dovzhenko Centre presents a Ukrainian retrospective “Tender Age”.

For the third year in a row the retrospective programme of the OIFF is curated by the State Film Archive of Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Center. Traditionally, the films from this programme will be screened from their reels

“Tender Age” is a programme of five rebellious and sensual films about the lives of different teenagers who have similar problems. In these films the linearity of the gradual transition from childhood to adolescence, which is inherent to Soviet cinema, fails. Thus, the theme of growing up is presented against the backdrop of historical change.

The first film is a social melodrama directed by Marlen Khutsiev “Two Fyodors” (1958), which was seen by about 20 million viewers. The black-and-white film, made in Odesa, tells about the broken lives of the children of war. The film’s characters find themselves at the intersection of the past – the war, and the future – peace. By supporting each other, they find the strength to start a new life.

“The Long Farewell” (1971) by Kira Muratova, a prizewinner of the International Film Festival in Locarno, was filmed in 1971, but due to the ban by the Soviet authorities saw the light only in 1987. The family drama tells about the life of a single mother and her son. After the boy visits his father, his mother notices a change in his behaviour. Later, after learning about her son’s plans to leave and start an independent life, the mother faces a difficult task – she needs to learn to let go. 

Musical comedy “Ar-Chi-Me-Di” (1975) was a breakthrough for the Soviet youth of the period of “stagnation”. Four Odesa natives are forced to balance between two professions: the seemingly frivolous music-making and the more prestigious work at the plant. Bass, guitar, keyboard and drums forever change the lives of these ordinary workers. This story of success and finding your place in life by director Alexander Pavlovskiy has collected 26 million viewers in theatres.

Mikhail Belikov’s drama “Night is Short” (1981) was seen by about 3.9 million viewers only in the first 12 months of its theatre run. The plot takes place in the first days after the war. The protagonist, waiting for his father from the front, falls into bad company. Feeling a lack of male support, the kid is forced to seek answers to important questions by himself. The film was featured at the film festival in Mannheim-Heidelberg.

The sensual drama from director Igor Minaiev “Cold March” (1987) is a touching story about a college director and his students – “the troubled teens” who do not want to learn and have problems with the law. However, the teacher sees that these youngsters are people who had hardship in their lives, and were unprotected from evil and injustice. The film was shown in the Biweekly of Directors at the Cannes Film Festival.

“The re-evaluation of values and the search for your place in life push the Soviet didactics in films to the side. The films shock the viewer with rawness of emotions, the pulse of real life in the midst of the monotonous Soviet everyday life”, says one of the curators of the programme Anna Onufrienko.

We remind you that it was recently announced that the guest of honour at the 8th Odesa International Film Festival, to be held from 14 to 22 of July, will be the chairman of the board of the European Film Academy Agnieszka Holland.