It was this observational documentary Irine Cilik whose plot is located in the Ukrainian region of Donbass one of the most awarded European documentaries in the year it started distribution. “The Earth is Blue as an Orange” premiered in Sundance, where Cilik won the award for best director, and it is one of the documentaries in which the author does not interfere in what is happening in front of her, but only records. As I have already mentioned, the action takes place in Donbas, in the so-called “red zone”, one of the most dangerous and insecure in Ukraine after 2014 and before the current war.
What was happening in Donbas after 2014 and what life there looked like in the midst of all these war events is hard to guess. There was a permanent war there and there was complete chaos, but even in such places we see that there are people not only eager to live, but how even in such chaotic conditions one can find some optimism, hope and faith that one day it will be better. Here we follow the story of a family living in a small town where shelling and gunfire are a constant state of affairs. As much as in the house, they live so much in the basements, and in one such basement the family we follow decided to make a film.
Here we follow the film about making a film that a teenage girl who is preparing to enroll in a film academy decided to make with the help of family members. , inhumane conditions. And it all seems completely surreal, that unimaginable life in which the father of this family is not mentioned at all and we do not know what happened to the man? Is he alive at all or is he part of some of the military units we see constantly and people are practically no longer paying attention to the tanks, armed and masked guys who are constantly around them.
Making a documentary for this family is like a kind of exapism, an escape from reality in a way that the reality and everything they experience, think and want is recorded on camera. The director has obviously been following the lives and destinies of the members of this family for a long time and how the shooting of their film is developing. It is also “The Earth Is Blue as an Orange” and a minimalist intimate drama about these people, as well as a politically engaged, anti-war film about the unimaginable horrors these people go through. And what is most frightening, a way of life that seems to have become something completely natural, almost a normal state of affairs for them over the years and they seem to have forgotten what life looked like before all these horrors.