Ukraine, Poland, Macedonia, 88', vo UKR, sub ENG/FRA, 16 Year
Cast: Anastasiia Pustovit, Maksym Samchik, Sofia Halaimova
Larysa, a spirited and ambitious young Ukrainian, has recently moved to an isolated village with her 5-year-old cousin. Longing for a time when she won’t have to stand the countryside and her strict grandmother anymore, the teenager falls for a thug whom she plans to run away with. But where can they run to when none of the roads lead anywhere and all dreams are forbidden?
Gracefully capturing the teenage spleen in the dystopian landscapes of the former USSR, When the Trees Fall centres on people that exist out of time. Using the run down town of Lozova as a sinister backdrop, the brutal crimes that are told sometimes become suffused with striking touches of magic realism. Half slow burning crime story, half spiritual hallucination, Marysia Nikitiuk’s debut feature is a crowning achievement of photography, a revelation.
Marysia Nikitiuk finished her film and drama studies at the Kiev Karpenko-Karyi University in 2012. She worked as a screenwriter before directing her first short film in 2014. Her script for When the Tree Falls, her first feature, won the award for best screenplay from Eastern Europe at Cannes in 2016. Today, she beautifully proves with the final film that her talent extends far beyond the page.