FIPRESI Prize for Ukrainian Filmmaker
Kyiv, May 28, 2012. A feature film V Tumane (In the Fog) (2012) by Ukrainian director Serhiy Loznytsia won the FIPRESI Prize handed out by the International Federation of Film Critics at the end of the 65th Cannes Film Festival. V Tumane was also nominated for Palme d’Or, but was beaten by Michael Haneke’s Amour (2012). A total of 22 films competed in the Cannes 2012 program.
V Tumane is a historical drama set in 1942 at the Western borders of the USSR. The two-hour motion picture features actors Vladimir Svirskiy, Vladislav Abashin, Sergei Kolesov, and others. It is based on a novel by a Belarusian writer Vasil Bykaŭ, known for his rich heritage of war literature.
Some critics classified V Tumane as existential drama that explores ways to save one’s life with their dignity intact. A man is falsely accused of collaboration with the German army and faces a tough moral dilemma. Captured by the Nazis but later released, a rail worker arouses suspicion among Soviet partisans. They accuse him of collaboration with the enemy.
Domenico La Porta in his review of V Tumane for Cineuropa describes the film’s characters as cold with empty gazes, while stating that apathetic fatalism dominates the film. V Tumane is a story of a man who refuses to become an animal, the barbaric circumstances he finds himself in notwithstanding. Eventually, the character of the film is left all alone, in the middle of nowhere, fading away into the white of the fog surrounding him.
Serhiy Loznytsia was previously nominated for Palm d’Or for his adventure film Schastye Moe (My Joy) (2010). Another two-hour long drama by the Ukrainian director tells a story of a truck driver who is suffering his way through violence and abuse he faces.
Curiously, the Ukrainian film director Maryna Vroda, who received a Palme d’Or for the best short film at the 64th Cannes Film Festival in 2011, worked as an assistant director for Schastye Moe with Serhiy Loznytsia. The 15 minute motion picture Kross by Vroda became the second film that received the highest Cannes award. In 2005 Palme d’Or was presented to the Ukrainian director Igor Strembitsky for his short film Podorozhni (Wayfarers).