28th May 20:45 - Live at Parabola Arts Centre
“The beginning of my work on this story was inspired by a pigeon. It crashed against our window. The pattern that was left was both beautiful and horrifying”. So says director Valentyn Vasyanovych about his sombre but beautiful and ultimately hopeful film Reflection. The contradiction in the symbolic traces left by that unfortunate bird underpins surgeon Serhily’s striving to reconcile his experiences on the front line in Eastern Ukraine with his comfortable middle-class civilian life. Propelled by guilt to sign up, and obviously damaged by his time as a captive of Russian forces, Serhily tries to find a way back into the life he’s left behind, and to reconnect with his wife and young daughter. When the pigeon hits the window of his flat, he finds a way to talk to a curious Polina about the terrible, inexplicable things that happen in this world. How can beauty and horror exist side by side? Casting his own daughter in the role of Polina, and writing, shooting and editing as well as directing the film, Vasyanovych presents a challenging work which will reward patient viewers who want insight into the human cost of the ongoing war in his homeland.
Anna Smith, Deadline Hollywood