DOK Leipzig Film Festival



The thinly populated Danube delta in the Bukovina is situated at the EU’s exterior border on Romanian and Ukrainian territory. Far from the container ships on the main stream a network of tributaries branches out in an endless reed forest. Warm and cold browns alternate in the shifting light of midwinter. Walls of fog and grey water blur the horizon. Men cut their way through the high canes to harvest the reed. The camera pushes them to the edge of the frame. The strictly limited sharp focus sometimes turns them into strangers in an unreal landscape by which they are occasionally absorbed. It’s cold and wet as they cut the huge reeds, gather them in massive bunches and carry them across ice channels. The work is hard, the voices of the rural workers rough, the daily grind that must be survived is tough. In the pathless, wild isolation of this region, the orthodox faith offers shelter. Hectic and chaotic, buckets and bottles filmed from up close scoop the holy water out of the river. At the last benediction the village mourns by chanting, tightly packed around the deceased – the spiritual rituals of a small, isolated community encircled by the veins of the mighty Danube. Oleksandr Techynskyis haptic film captures the closeness in this wide expanse.

André Eckardt

Honorary Mention Next Masters Competition;
Nominated for MDR Film Prize, Healthy Workplaces Film Award, Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize

Original Title: Delta
Country: Ukraine, Germany
Year: 2017
Language: Russian
Subtitle: English
Runtime: 80 min.
Format: DCP
Color: Colour
Director: Oleksandr Techynskyi
Producer: Yulia Serdyukova, Gennady Kofman, Kirill Krasovski
Cinematographer: Oleksandr Techynskyi
Editor: Marina Maykovskaya
Sound: Oleg Golovoshkin

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig 2018 catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author's name. All articles where no author’s name is given are production notes.