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Source:  Kyiv Post

“School No. 3,” a Ukrainian-German documentary that was awarded the Grand Prix in the Generation 14 Plus category at the 67th Berlinale Film Festival in March, doesn’t show any typical signs of war, like holes from shells, wounded people, or destroyed buildings.

But the war is invisibly present there like a monster in a good horror movie, which is unseen but terrifying by its existence somewhere near.

Mykolayivka, a city of 15,000 people in Donetsk Oblast about 400 miles from Kyiv, was severely shelled in early July 2014, when the Ukrainian army was storming Russian-backed separatists, who dug in there.

Many houses were demolished, and many residents were killed. So when the city was eventually liberated, the locals felt hostile and suspicious towards the Ukrainian government.

It took awhile for a group of Ukrainian theater performers, who arrived in Mykolayivka several months after the shelling, to build a dialogue with the teenagers of local School No. 3, which was also damaged by shelling.

But the efforts paid off.

At first, the result was a documentary theater project “My Mykolayivka” that was staged in the city.

Later the project was extended to “School No. 3” by Ukrainian director Yelizaveta Smith and German director Georg Genoux.

Read the story at the Kyiv Post. 

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