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“Babyn Yar. Context” screens in Israeli premiere at Jerusalem Film Festival

CM 02/09/2021

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Following a successful and well received world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in July, the new documentary “Babyn Yar. Context” was screened for the first time in Israel at the Jerusalem Film Festival, held at the city’s Cinematheque Theatre. 
The film is produced by renowned Ukrainian director Sergei Loznitsa, with the support of the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center. It is released as part of the events to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Nazi massacre of more than 33,000 Jews in the Babyn Yaar Forest, on the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, between 29th and 30th September 1941. The film is based entirely on archive footage, and reconstructs the events leading up to the massacre, and the aftermath of the atrocity. 
In a video message sent ahead of the Jerusalem premiere, director Sergei Loznitsa thanked the Jerusalem Film Festival for their invitation, and explained what had drawn him to explore this dark chapter in history. He said, “I grew up in Kyiv in the 1970s, not far from the place where killings took place. As a child, I played in the forest on the site of the massacre, and I didn’t have any idea of what happened there. Three decades ago, we were never taught about it in school. The subject of Holocaust was a kind of taboo in Soviet Union. Only later, when I was a student, I learned about it, and felt it was my duty to make a film about this tragedy.”

He added, “I have been working on the subject of Babyn Yaar for many, many years, and I have collected large body of footage from different archives in Russia, Germany and Ukraine, and I hope that this event, and the recognition the film has received, will enable us to reach wider audiences worldwide.”
Ilya Khrzhanovsky, artistic director of the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center, added his thanks to the Festival and noted, “It was so important for us to see this documentary screened in Israel, for an audience so emotionally invested and connected to the issue of Holocaust remembrance and education. I am proud to assure all those who have seen and been moved by this film in Jerusalem tonight, that the film has already received dozens of invitations to the world’s largest festivals, as well as distribution offers from streaming platforms and distributors. Audiences in different countries and continents will recognize the dangers of hatred and the extreme form of nationalism – the relevance of this film in our time is indisputable.”

Source: Jerusalem Post

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