Babi Yar. context

Babi Yar. context

The story starts in the autumn of 1941: the residents of Lviv tear down portraits of Stalin and hang portraits of Hitler, and the invaders are greeted with flowers. Here is a chaos. Here is the explosion of Khreshchatyk, mined by the retreating Red Army. There are no newsreels directly of the shootings in Babi Yar in the film, but there are photos from the “compaign” documented by the German military commander Helle: these are pictures of people driven together by Einsatzgruppen on the field, and the belongings of the killed. The second part is about what happened after the shooting. The nazis are retreating, the Red Army enters the city, and its inhabitants tear off portraits of Hitler from the columns. The court is being held over nazis; the accused, Chief Corporal Hans Isenman, is a handsome, cold and impartial in his story about how he personally shot one hundred and twenty people. After his interrogation there is a testimony of Dina Pronicheva, an artist of the Kiev Puppet Theater, whose story resembles a fantastic thriller: pretending to be killed, she fell into a ravine with corpses, and then got out of it. And then – the public execution of the Germans on the gallows, built right on Kalinin Square, in front of two hundred thousand people. The film ends with a landmark scene: the Council of the Kiev City in 1952 decides to fill the ravine with pulp, ten years later the water from the pulp will break through the dam of the ravines of Babi Yar and flood the residential area of Kurenevka

Netherland, Ukrain
Director: Sergei Loznitsa
Screenwriter: Sergei Loznitsa
Production: Karin Leblanc, Marianna Slot, Ilya Hrzhanovsky, Sergey Loznitsa, Maria Chustova-Baker