What started as a biopic of Soviet physicist Lev Landau ballooned into a years-long Ukrainian social experiment involving thousands of amateur actors. The resulting 13 feature films are now screening for the first time.
As a high school kid, I thought Eugène Ionesco was pretty much one of the best writers I had encountered up to that point. He was an entrenched misanthrope with a brutal wit who wasn’t afraid to take on politics, philosophy, and the unfortunate realities of human interaction. And, most importantly to me at that time, one of his sharpest tools was his sense of the absurd. As a teenager who had moved a number of times and changed schools every couple of years, who spent most of her time in her own head or with her nose in books, and who was grappling with depression and a latent queerness, absurdity made perfect sense to me. The world outside of my head was excruciatingly absurd and twisted to me then, and most of the time I hated it and assumed it hated me right back. Ionesco was perfect.