Film Short Description:
An urgent verité portrait of the Russia-Ukraine War, this gritty posthumous documentary is uncomfortable but essential in its bleak depictions of war’s impact on everyday citizens.
Released posthumously, Mariupolis 2 marks Mantas Kvedaravičius’s second and final visit to the war-stricken city of Mariupol in Ukraine. Kvedaravičius, a filmmaker and an anthropologist, was captured and killed in March 2022 by Russian forces while recording what was to become a chilling, unblinking gaze into the core of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, as experienced by the people who have little left to lose.
Hurriedly pieced together by Kvedaravičius’s co-director and fiancée Hanna Bilobrova in his memory, the documentary was a last-minute addition to the film lineup at Cannes this year. Confronting viewers head-on with its shaky recordings of hellish destruction and desolate ruins, the grueling film never attempts to cobble together a moralistic narrative out of the wreckage. It depicts the fallout of war in all its bleak wretchedness, with its embedded tragedy marking it as a true emblem of present day brutalities.