Film Text – Ukrainian Film

How do literature and film intersect?

Dr Sara Nesteruk spoke to us about Ukrainian film directors from the last century who filmed propaganda films, Dziga Vertov, she spoke about Ukraine celebrating the working man and women in the industry at that time. The VUFKU film industry wasn’t privately owned unlike Hollywood but they tried to mimic the Hollywood film industry. Sara quoted Vertov “it sharply opposes “life as it is,” seen by the aided eye of the movie camera (kino-eye), to “life as it is,” seen by the imperfect human eye.” (Vertov, 1984, pp. 84-85) she said the quote is talking about perception, kino-eye being referred to as a character, the camera as a character. Saying being there in person our perception is different from how it is captured on camera. We watched a clip from a movie called ‘Man with a Movie Camera’ which focused on the ordinary lives of the Ukrainian people living in a city, this had no script, and no literature but tells the story of the people living there in 1929. Real events of people at work and leisure, recording history in a 1-hour film. An example of experimentation and in contrast to today. As this is known as one of the best films from the time, this will have been written about by researchers and film enthusiasts.

Man with a Movie Camera

What academic processes translate into film practice?

As we were looking at the Ukraine propaganda film and Vertov’s quote based on perception, I looked at Freud’s science of the mind and found this journal ‘Freud’s Model of the Human Mind’ this study talks about the conscious mind and states…

“Its ability to direct your focus
Its ability to imagine that which is not real”

Therefore whilst the film is our focus or attention we can recall from the sub and unconscious mind our memories, feelings, and experiences from the past. This helps us to understand the film.

Dr. Sara Nesteruk advised the history of Ukraine filmmaking for academics can be found in the Dovzhenko Centre. Due to the current conflict in Ukraine, the institution is closed. As funding is no longer available for it to remain open, the worry is that some of the material may deteriorate.  Thanks to the National Film Board of Canada they are bringing some Ukrainian films to life and digitising them for the future.


Vertov, D. (1984) Kino-Eye: The Writings of Dziga Vertov. Edited by A. Michelson. Translated by K. O’Brien. Berkeley, California : University of California Press.

Freud’s Model of the Human Mind,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *