Valentyn Vasyanovych

Ukraine, 2019 / 108 min / Ukrainian OV with English or French subt. / drama

A soldier haunted by the ghosts of war is trying to rebuild his life in a land in ruins.

Eastern Ukraine, in the near future. A desert unsuitable for human habitation. Sergiy, a former soldier suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder, is having trouble adapting to his new reality: a life in pieces in a land in ruins. When the smelter he works at finally shuts down, he finds an unexpected way to cope by joining the volunteer Black Tulip mission dedicated to exhuming war corpses. While working for Black Tulip, he meets and befriends Katya, and comes to understand that a better future is possible. Will he learn to live without war and accept himself as he is?

“Partly inspired by the news about the tragic deterioration of the water quality in the occupied territories, Atlantis might be the most original film of recent Ukrainian cinema, finally warming up its voice to address even the most uncomfortable of issues. This is mostly because it never does so directly and, despite all the hardships, manages to find love in a hopeless place.” Marta Bałaga, Cineuropa, 05/09/2019

Mon 09/03 18:30 Cinémathèque UA OV with EN subt. Public
Wed 11/03 21:00 Ciné Utopia UA OV with EN subt. Public
Thu 12/03 18:30 Ciné Utopia UA OV with FR subt. Public

“A strikingly bleak vision of a near future in which Ukraine has won its war with Russia but been left in ruins, this almost abstract drama by multi-hyphenate Valentyn Vasyanovych nabbed the top prize in Venice’s Horizons section. […] a strong piece of poetically pure art-house cinema that finally offers a ray of hope for humanity’s future — not just the Ukraine’s, as this largely depoliticized statement is one of universal relevance.” Dennis Harvey, Variety, 16/09/2019

“After the 2014 arthouse sensation The Tribe and last year’s Home Games, both of which he produced, Ukrainian director Valentyn Vasyanovych established himself as a versatile filmmaker with a taste to match. While completely different, Atlantis plays pretty much to the same strengths, and it’s easily one of the most interesting films in this year’s Venice Orizzonti and one that’s quite difficult to pin down. It’s partly a comment on the current political unrest, still very much ongoing, and partly a post-apocalyptic vision of a destroyed, desert-like universe that wouldn’t look out of place in one of those Mad Max outings. If one could forgo all those nasty motorbike gangs, that is.” Marta Bałaga, Cineuropa, 05/09/2019

  • Orizzonti Prize for Best Film, Venice Film Festival, 2019 (Italy)
  • Crystal Arrow for the Best Narrative Feature, Les Arcs European Film Festival, 2019 (France)
  • Grand Prix, Minsk International Film Festival, 2019 (Belarus)
  • Best Cinematography, Seville European Film Festival, 2019 (Spain)
  • Special Jury Prize – International Competition, Tokyo International Film Festival, 2019 (Japan)
Cast & Credits
Andriy Rymaruk, Liudmyla Bileka, Vasyl Antoniak
Valentyn Vasyanovych
Valentyn Vasyanovych
Serhiy Stepansky
Vladlen Odudenko
Garmata Film Production, Limelite
Best Friend Forever

Valentyn Vasyanovych is a Ukrainian director, producer and director of photography. He was born in 1971 in Zhytomyr, Ukraine, and graduated from the Ukraine’s National University of Theatre, Cinema and Television of Karpenko-Kary in Kiev as cinematographer in 1995 and documentary filmmaker in 2000, as well as from The Wajda School in Poland in 2007. In 2014, he gained international recognition as a filmmaker by winning the Jury Prize at Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, as well as receiving a mention of the jury at the Toronto International Film Festival for his documentary short Against the Sun (2004). He worked as a producer on Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy’s The Tribe (2014), which became the biggest international success of Ukrainian cinema, winning the Grand Prize at Cannes’ Critics Week.

  • 2019 – Atlantis
  • 2017 – Riven chornoho
  • 2014 – Prysmerk (documentaire / documentary / Dokumentarfilm)
  • 2013 – Kredens
  • 2012 – Zvychayna sprava
  • 2004 – Proty sontsya (court-métrage documentaire / documentary short / Dokumentarkurzfilm)