Oleh Senstov’s Real shouldn’t be actually a movie within the typical sense. Nor is it actually a documentary. It can greatest be described, because the filmmaker himself places it in a filmed introduction, as “material.” That’s as a result of the movie (for the needs of this evaluation, let’s name it such) is the results of an accident. It’s composed of 90 minutes of uncooked, unedited footage captured by a GoPro digital camera perched on the filmmaker’s helmet whereas he was serving within the Ukrainian navy. Senstov unwittingly turned on the digital camera after his infantry combating car was destroyed by Russian artillery, and the footage paperwork his ensuing efforts to name for assist in evacuating his unit even whereas they’re underneath hearth and operating out of ammunition.

The end result, receiving its world premiere on the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, is as fast a portrait of conflict as you can think about, alternately harrowing and boring, and undeniably true to its title.


The Bottom Line

A found-footage conflict film.

Venue: Karlovy Vary International Film Festival
Director: Oleh Senstov

1 hour half-hour

Sentsov, who entered the Ukraine navy shortly after the Russian invasion, is an skilled director with three function movies to his credit score. He’s additionally an activist and dissident who was charged by Russia with planning terrorist assaults and sentenced to twenty years in jail. A 12 months after receiving the European Parliament‘s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, he was launched as a part of a prisoner trade deal between Russia and Ukraine.  

Senstsov wasn’t conscious that he was filming through the battle that occurred final summer season, solely discovering the footage months later. He thought of deleting it, however then determined that it served as a useful doc of conflict because it really happens. The 90 minutes of footage (that’s the purpose at which the digital camera battery ran out), which acquired minor post-production tweaks involving sound and coloration correction, serves as a visible doc of recent trench warfare.

Not that we see any precise motion within the movie, which primarily exhibits Senstov — who commanded a unit and whose code title was “Grunt” — and his males hunkered down in a trench ready referred to as “Real,” named after the Madrid soccer membership. (The Ukraine navy appears to have a selected affinity for the game, with different positions labeled with the names of such groups as Chelsea, Barcelona and Marseille.)

Since the digital camera is situated on Sentsov’s head, we by no means actually see him. But we do hear his gruff voice barking directions to his males and into the radio as he serves as a human tripod. Their scenario is perilous; as Senstov places it, they’re “running out of ammo and people,” with a number of males wounded. They’re surrounded by Russian forces, and their location is periodically shelled as Senstov desperately makes an attempt to rearrange their evacuation.  

The troopers deal with their scenario with spectacular stoicism and resignation, their emotionless faces registering little panic as we hear such radio transmissions as “What’s our next move?” and “What’s the leadership saying?” Mostly they wait, and wait, and wait, for the assistance that’s a very long time in coming. “The situation’s shitty. We’ll be coming to you now,” they finally hear over the radio.  

Real proves slightly attempting and patience-testing as a purely cinematic expertise, particularly as in comparison with such galvanizing documentaries because the Oscar-winning 20 Days in Mariupol. But it nonetheless serves as an necessary historic doc, one which can be an illustration of a selected side of recent warfare and the braveness of Ukrainian troopers dealing with unimaginable odds as they battle the Russian military. As we finally be taught within the remaining moments, there have been quite a few Ukrainian casualties through the battle, together with a number of of the lads we see within the movie. Real serves as a becoming memorial.

Full credit

Venue: Karlovy Vary International Film Festival
Production: Arthouse Traffic, Cry Cinema, Propeler Film, Downey Ink.
Director-director of images: Oleh Senstov

1 hour half-hour

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