“From Another Side of the Sun” (По той бік сонця) (00:29:56) by Oleksandr Stupak, Ukraine, 2022
“From Another Side of the Sun”: a film-trilogy about war and children’s lives.
Etude 1. A white paper boat floats carefree on the waves. The girl looks into the water from the bridge and peacefully contemplates the reflection of the sun in the water. But everything changes instantly. The war begins. Anxiety grows with each step. And the child laughs, looking at the sun. But the one who has crossed the border goes to block the sun forever. The ship stops, the white turns black and the black turns white…
Etude 2. A white living creature plunges into black water. Quenching its thirst, it spins in a dance. The dance stops. In the dark, a ray of light outlines the egg in the quiet. Expectation. Someone is just about to show up. A shot rings out. The red flows from the white form. The shot egg disappears in the dark. A white creature appears on the black water in endless motion…
Etude 3. Spring. The ruined sculptures in the cemetery remind of the former presence of people, their suffering, the horrors that the war brought them. It seems like there are no living beings left on earth, only petrified statues and insects crawling on exanimate faces. Autumn. A ruined temple, from which the eye tries to find a way out into open space and finds only cracks and potholes. The war leaves ruins. But suddenly, amidst the dead silence, a child’s cry is heard…
“From Another Side of the Sun” – an avant-garde minimalistic film, the idea of which arose during the war. After the start of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, my pregnant wife and little daughter and I left our native home, leaving Kyiv for a village in the Kyiv region. After a few weeks of shock, I realized that, being an artist everywhere, I had to act creatively during the war as well. This is how an experimental short trilogy arose, which abstractly recreates the image of a child, the cruelty and horrors of war, and the endless thirst for life.
I understood that showing everything literally will never be able to reproduce the real drama and pain in full, in life everything is always sharper… So while working on an artistic image, I tried to get rid of plot and naturalistic storytelling and create a form that would express the content with the help of film language. I was looking for plastic that would fully express a phenomenon or an action. And if this plastic corresponds to the image, then, in the combination of these two components, the plot is born. The form speaks about the content.
Oleksandr Stupak works in the field of monumental and easel painting, graphics and sculpture, as well as audiovisual art.
Director, producer, sound: Oleksandr Stupak