A thunderous, deep, reflective silence was the best applause with which those attending the screening of the documentary Mariúpolis 2 rewarded the posthumous work and memory of the Lithuanian director Mantas Kvedaravicius, murdered by Russian forces in April 2022, during the siege of the Ukrainian city of Mariúpol.
The documentary, screened this Tuesday at the Cineteca del Matadero in Madrid in a single screening, narrates the siege of Mariupol from the point of view of a group of civilians trapped in the midst of the fighting and with no chance of escape.
The footage and body of Kvedaravicius were recovered by his partner, Hanna Bilobrova, who completed the editing of the film, which was later presented at a special screening at the Cannes Film Festival 2022, where it received excellent reviews.
Before the screening, the ambassadors of Lithuania, Lyra Puisyte Bostroem, and of Ukraine, Serhii Pohoreltsev, addressed the audience to underline the documentary value of this film, the second that the Lithuanian filmmaker has made about Mariupol.
Lyra Puisyte Bostroem recalled Kvedaravicius’ own words when he presented his first documentary on the Ukrainian city in 2016: “my films are not about war but about life around war, life lived in spite of war“.
The ambassador stressed that Mariupol 2 “is further proof of Russian brutality”. “Its images convey both tragedy and hope, and I am left with hope. I am sure that we will soon see this city rebuilt and victorious, Slava Ukraini,” she concluded.
For his part, Serhii Pohoreltsev thanked the support “of our partners, friendly countries and the democratic world, including Spain, because without them it would be very difficult for us to resist, to win the war, which means recovering all the occupied territories”.
The Ukrainian ambassador said he was convinced that “we are going to win“, but stressed that “we need more support, not only in the military sense, but in other fields, including the information front, and therefore we have to show the whole world what is really happening in Ukraine”.
Organised by the Lithuanian Embassy, in collaboration with the Madrid City Council and the Ukrainian Embassy, the event was attended by the ambassadors of Finland, Chile, Georgia, Estonia and France, as well as diplomats representing the embassies of Poland and Guatemala, among others.