Ukraine-Turkey war drama “Klondike,” directed by Maryna Er Gorbach and co-produced by Mehmet Bahadır Er, won the “Best Director” award in the “World Cinema Dramatic” category at the Sundance Film Festival, a premier film festival, where it was premiered.

“A film about the choices we make as the world crumbles, bringing it to life with its meticulously staged framing, elegantly woven story and cast performance,” the jury said of the film as it gave writer-director Gorbach the “Best Director” Award.

This year, the “World Cinema Dramatic” jury was composed of the curator of the Museum of Modern Art La Frances Hui, the Egyptian filmmaker and director of the Cairo Film Festival Mohamed Hefzy and the British director Andrew Haigh.

A scene from the movie “Klondike”.

Director Gorbach thanked the film crew, actors, institutions that supported the film and the audience and wrote heartfelt comments. She added that she hopes the occupation in Ukraine will end and have the peaceful and beautiful days they deserve.

“Klondike”, supported by the Ukrainian State Film Agency and the General Directorate of Cinema of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and co-production of TRT 12 Punto, has received praise from foreign press and film critics at the Sundance Film Festival.

The film focuses on the story of future parents Irka and Tolik who live in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine near the Russian border, a disputed territory besieged by separatist groups at the start of the war. of Donbass.

Their nervous anticipation of the birth of their first child is violently disrupted as the nearby crash of civilian flight MH17 on July 17, 2014 heightens the menacing tension that shrouds their village. The impending wreckage of the downed airliner and an incoming parade of mourners underscore the surreal trauma of the moment.


A scene from the movie
A scene from the movie “Klondike”.

While Tolik’s separatist friends expect him to join their efforts, Irka’s brother is infuriated by suspicions that the couple have betrayed Ukraine. Irka refuses to be evacuated even as the village is captured by the armed forces, and she tries to make peace between her husband and brother by asking them to repair their bombed-out house.

Gorbach creates a meaningful and empathetic ode to resilience as the film viscerally delineates the dawning uncertainty of the couple’s life in a war zone. The camera films the damage done to their home and village in poignant recognition that the fabric of their lives has also been permanently altered.

“Klondike” will make its European premiere with the team’s participation in the “Panorama Section” of the 72nd Berlin International Film Festival, which runs from February 10-20.

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