While documenting the siege of Mariupol, 45-year-old Lithuanian director Mantas Kvedaravicius was killed trying to leave the southeastern Ukrainian port city besieged by Russian forces, the Ukrainian army. “The Russian occupiers killed Lithuanian director Mantas Kvedaravicius, author of the documentary Mariupolis, as he was trying to leave Mariupol,” the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense news agency said on Twitter. Ukrainian rights, Lyudmyla Denisov, specified the circumstances of the filmmaker’s death. “He was held prisoner by the Russians, who shot him with one bullet in the head and another in the chest. The occupants threw his remains in the street.”Born in 1976, Mantas Kvedaravicius was known with Mariupolis, a documentary filmed in Mariupol, the city where he died, presented for the first time at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2016. Known for his war documentaries on the border between poetry and l absurd, he was back in the city to document the siege of the Russian army there and offer a second part to his ode to this martyred city. In tribute to the filmmaker, Arte.tv has posted his documentary online, described by the Franco-German channel as “a poignant portrait of the current pre-war Mariupol, a city that derived its wealth from its steelworks and coal mines” and which will be available for a year. In 2016, despite the bombs, gunshots and the threat of war, life in Mariupol, the city of a half a million inhabitants located in eastern Ukraine, was taking its course. The young Lithuanian director Mantas Kvedaravicius then documented the joys, his loves, the sorrows and the gestures of the daily life of its inhabitants. In the film, no scene of confrontation, the director preferred to substitute scenes of ordinary life. “I wanted to show the reality of everyday life caught up in war. To show how ordinary people live amid gunfire, explosions and death”, he summed up in 2016, during the presentation of his film at the Berlinale. “He was killed today in Mariupol, camera in hand, in this shitty war of evil against the whole world,” director Vitaly Mansky wrote on Facebook.
Leave a comment