Ukrainian retrospective "Odessa in fiamme: occupation / liberation" at the 6th Odessa Film Festival
Traditional Ukrainian retrospective at Odessa IFF this year is dedicated to the Siege of Odessa in 1941. The selection includes feature films and documentaries produced in Soviet Union and Romania that follow this historical episode from the opposite ideological perspectives. Ivan Kozlenko, general director of the National Center of Alexander Dovzhenko, is the author and curator of the program.

Traditional Ukrainian retrospective at Odessa IFF this year is dedicated to the Siege of Odessa in 1941. The selection includes feature films and documentaries produced in Soviet Union and Romania that follow this historical episode from the opposite ideological perspectives. Ivan Kozlenko, general director of the National Center of Alexander Dovzhenko, is the author and curator of the program. 
 
Retrospective "Odessa in fiamme: occupation / liberation" is devoted to the themes of cinematic propaganda and occupation that are hot topics for Ukraine today.
 
Italian-Romanian drama 'Odessa in Flames' by  Carmine Gallone, which took the great prize at 9th Venice Film Festival in 1942, became the main film of the program. This film reveals the events in Odessa from the Romanian point of view accompanied by music of Chopin and Tchaikovsky. More than half a century the film was considered to be destroyed after the war, but in 2006 a copy was found in the archives of the famous Italian film studios "Cinecitta".
 
Soviet films of the retrospective reflect the occupation of Odessa from completely different perspective. "Thirst" by Yevgeni Tashkov (1959) tells the story of the heroic defense of Odessa, when the city was left without drinking water. The script for the film was written by war poet and screenwriter Gregory Pozhenyan based on his personal experience - as a marine he participated in the seizure of a water station behind enemy lines. Film is also remarkable for its cinematography -  Soviet movie classic Peter Todorovsky appeared as a camera man.
 
The main characters of the little-known film "Odesskie kanikuli" by Yuri Petrov(1965) are high school students, whose summer is ruthlessly destroyed by war.  The movie "The boy's name was Captain" by Mark Tolmachev (1973) is based on the biography of the pioneer-hero Yakov Gordienko. Street, school and a ship  in Odessa were named after this 16-year-old guerrilla, who died in the dungeons of the Romanian secret police. The retrospective also includes collection of documentary newsreel of the occupation. Short by Alexander Dovzhenko and Julia Solntseva "Bukovyna: a Ukrainian Land", filmed soon after the accession of Northern Bukovina to the Soviet Union, is among them. The film by French director Jean Lods "Odessa" (1935), found in 2001 in the film archives of the GDR, uncovers the story of the city and its heyday in the times of Stalin. Narration for this city film album is read by writer Isaac Babel, who was sentenced to death by Joseph Stalin in 1940.
 
"With this retrospective we consciously and with a bit of risk step on the ideological field, and thus realize the danger of being absorbed or rejected by one of its fronts. As a witness of corrosion, even convulsion of Soviet historiographical concepts, where there were only a place for  "traitors" and "heroes", we realize the need to review the experience of "the other side", which position has been a taboo for a long time. It will hep to throw light at the destiny of a Man, who became a hostage of the conflict. Consequently, the purpose of this program is the analysis of the mechanisms of propaganda and understanding of the concept of occupation as part of the information war. This retrospective aims to spread doubt, which is the only possible  ideological manipulation vaccines" - explains Ivan Kozlenko, the author and curator of the Ukrainian retrospective at 6th OIFF .
 
6th Odessa International Film Festival will be held from 10 to 18 July 2015.