“Odessa Steps 2022” by experimental artist and filmmaker Tan Tan is likely one of the first motion pictures to come back in New Asian Filmmakers Collective’s anti-war marketing campaign “In opposition to the struggle, within the title of cinema”. The quick makes use of scenes from Sergei Eisenstein’s masterpiece “Battleship Potemkin” to discover the present invasion of Ukraine.
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In some ways, Tan Tan’s quick documentary reminds the viewer of “A Monologue about House” and “Information Feed On My…”, each from the identical marketing campaign by New Asian Filmmakers Collective. Like the previous, it juxtaposes current and previous as a technique to touch upon humanity. Right here, nevertheless, the scenes from the previous are taken not from 1990’s USSR, however from Sergei Eisenstein’s 1925 “Battleship Potemkin.” In a while, Tan Tan attracts parallels between the Nazi assaults of Odessa and the present ones, placing into query the official Russian narratives concerning the invasion.
In her assertion concerning the movie, the director speaks concerning the second she realized that Odessa, the place the place probably the most essential and lauded scenes of Eisenstein’s film takes place, isn’t in Russia however in Ukraine. Lee Soojung mentions the identical factor in her quick about information, social media, and isolation. This error of the conquered with the conqueror speaks factors not solely to the widespread confusion about the place a few of Russia’s biggest items of artwork come from, but additionally of the cultural variety and geopolitical complexity in that area of the world.
“Odessa Steps 2022” begins with a set off warning, however nothing can put together the viewer for the cases of utmost violence that Tan Tan reveals on this quick. Across the center, we begin seeing an increasing number of information and social media footage containing human and animal corpses, shelling of buildings, even a mom wailing over the physique of her murdered daughter. All of that solely in Odessa, however one metropolis is sufficient. We will think about the atrocities dedicated by the Russian military in tougher hit cities.
Within the director’s assertion for her movie, Tan Tan says that she doesn’t intention to debate the political context of the struggle, solely to query the dearth of human progress between the depiction in Eisenstein’s film and what’s taking place in Ukraine now. She manages to do this, however solely to a sure extent. As a result of regardless of her declare for goal distancing from the political facets of the invasion, she reveals the brutality of the Russian military and heroism of the Ukrainian fighters, in a means condemning the primary and lauding the second. This makes “Odessa Steps 2022” a fiercely political piece of filmmaking.