The cinematographic program of the first DonCult was built mainly on the works of authors who represented Donbas, but never resided there. There were both classics, such as Dzyga Vertov ("Enthusiasm. Symphony of Donbass", "Eleventh"), Sergei Parajanov ("Flower on a Stone"), Leonid Lukov ("Great Life"), and modern but foreign authors: Michael Glavogger ("Death of a Worker"), Gael Mokaer ("Miner's Day"), Jacob Preuss ("Another Chelsea"). The last three, as well as several others in the program, were opened to the Ukrainian audience in different years by the Docudays UA Festival, whose co-founder Nadia Parfan was the curator of our first film program together with Olha Papash.
It was also a kind of curatorial gesture – to offer the outsourced optics of an outside observer, as opposed to other programs where we had a lot of voices from Donbas speaking on his behalf as part of the community;
at the same time, it was a forced step – a cohort of young authors who created a series of cinematic reflections on various topics and problems of the region, grew up a little later.
Among the contemporary authors that were met at the Cinema program are Dmytro Durnytsky and Lesya Kuzmych ("Zvuk"), Oleksandr Ratiy, "Povernennia", and Ruslan Batytsky "Ukrainian Lesson".
We talked about "Donetsk as a physical and mental space" at a discussion with participation of Alexander Ratiy (director, winner of "Molodist” Film Festival), Ilya Gladstein (curator of the "86" Festival), Anastasia Ponomaryova (architectural festival "CANaction").
The cameras focus on the work and construction of a new socialist reality of the period of industrialization and fight against illiteracy in the Donbas – when "Ukrainization" has not yet been curtailed; and on the difficult working conditions of illegal coal miners earning their living in today's Donbas; exhausting work in the bowels of the earth, which absorbs and at the same time feeds, warms and enlightens its children; stories of people returning to cities for something, where – conditionally or in fact – there are only two maternity hospitals, two factories and two cemeteries; stories of loves and losses of ordinary people who stuck into their habits and traditions.
Each show was accompanied by a discussion, which has become a tradition for all our subsequent shows.