Publication date

Ukrainians quickly learn not only to shoot movies, but also to fight - Irma Vitovska

Ukrainians quickly learn not only to shoot movies, but also to fight - Irma Vitovska

The Ukrainian-Italian film “Cosa Nostra. Mom is coming” became a new filming experience for Ukrainian theatre and film actress Irma Vitovska. She told correspondent Ivan Hrynevych about the difficulties and challenges of shooting in Italy, and also shared her thoughts on modern Ukrainian films and the path of Ukrainian cinema since the 2010s.

Firstly, I would like to congratulate you on the premiere of the Ukrainian-Italian film “Cosa Nostra. Mom is coming”, which was filmed directly in Italy. Did you find it difficult to adapt to those conditions, and how did you like the experience of filming in Italy?

The experience is absolutely identical to Ukrainian filming; only the language is different. I immediately call everyone to finally change this inferior attitude. We have great groups and serious teams.

We have a very powerful technical staff for all the film productions with which I work. I can personally confirm. Therefore, no rules or other inputs have changed for me.

Well, [about the] language. I don't speak Italian. It was quite a challenge for me to work on a film in a language I didn't know. It would be easier in English, because I am building it, at least in my head, although the accent…

But we understand that my heroine is Ukrainian, so the accent is not a terrible story; on the contrary, it is welcome in this case. But Italian is easier to pronounce.

Italian is a very melodious language, very close to Ukrainian. I think that our Ukrainian-speaking citizens also master this language very quickly. But of course, when you don't even have a basic level at all, it's a challenge.

I refused at first because I was sluggish to learn new languages, especially lazy to work with them. After all, it is not just to know the texts; they should be born in you here and now, become part of yours, and become the heroine's words. And here is organic matter. But I managed. It wasn't easy.

What is the biggest difficulty of filming in a foreign language

Of course, years have passed, and I remember that moment positively, but at that moment it was quite scary and difficult because the heroine lives in three positions in the language, her three phases: when she has just learned, when she is more fluent and when she very well versed.

It is not filmed consecutively, so for me, it was more the territory of the montage inside the picture - how free I am mise-en-scène in the way of existence with my partner, how free I am to let go or not to let go of my heroine from attention, concentration and parallel translate - that is, the operation of the heroine when she is from Italian translates for himself into Ukrainian.

This was the greatest difficulty, and, of course, words, of course, pronunciation, and of course, that sometimes words are not just approximate; they are exact texts, exact words.

Also, it's a Sicilian language palette because it's Sicily, and it's a slightly different language than Italian. As we have, say, the Hutsul ethnographic group. If I spoke it, most of Ukraine would barely understand its dialectic. It's the same story there.

But I think that after this experience, I will be ready to play Japanese. They did not duplicate me; they left me in the original. In Italy, the picture was released with my original voice.

2022 and 2023 will be the best years for Ukrainian cinema

It is quite symbolic that today we are on the territory of the Dovzhenko film studio, and I would like to dwell separately on the issue of Ukrainian cinematography. I watched an interview with you, and you often talked about Ukrainian cinema. What is Ukrainian cinema going through now?

This year is the quintessence of the success of Ukrainian cinema. I can affirmatively tell you that 2022 and 2023 could be the crown of Ukrainian cinema at the end of this decade.

The pictures I looked at in Critics' Week were “Klondike”, “Pamfir”, “Me and Felix”, “Reflection”, and “Butterfly Vision”. Also, those that will go to the audience, those that we have now finished like “Malevych”.

I watched “Mad Men”, which is going to be shown at the festival, a part of “Taste of Freedom”. The films that are expected are the same as “Luxembourg, Luxembourg” by Antonio Lukich. Many of the works that are coming to us will highlight exactly the entire path that Ukrainian cinema has travelled since 2010.

In 2010, 2011, and 2012, very few films were released. The most significant thing is after the Maidan, of course, when the cinematographer Pylyp Illenko headed the film industry when the state realized that it was necessary to invest in cinematography, as in information security.

And, starting with small steps - with two pictures per year, we reached 2020 - the best pre-COVID year, with four films in a month. And these are live-action, as they say. I'm not talking about documentaries and short films.

And we have also grown in quality. This “Criticism Week” just underlined the fact that you don't know how to act now. Even in the last “[Golden] Dzyga” [Ukrainian National Film Award - Ed.] I didn't know whom I would give preference to among the nominations for Best Actor sections, and this year I definitely don't know what to do.

It shows that Ukrainians learn quickly. Not only to shoot movies but, as we can see, to fight. We quickly master everything. We have some ability to learn. Apparently, since the Ukrainian nation started a thousand years ago, it has always been near the origins of education.

We learn quickly, and unfortunately, we learn bad things quickly. But also nice and good [things]. Therefore, you should focus on the positive, on the pluses.

You may also be interested: Young people who see themselves in Ukraine, it's time to unite and take the future into their own hands - Irma Vitovska

By staying online, you consent to the use of cookies files, which help us make your stay here even better 

Based on your browser and language settings, you might prefer the English version of our website. Would you like to switch?