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UNDER THE ENDLESS SKY

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This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian) Deutsch (German)

by Alexandra Dzhiganskaya

grade: 7.5

Under the endless Sky is a little poetic short film that in its apparent simplicity has found the right way to convey the idea of what the young director’s world was like. A few essential blue strokes represent each time a new image. A bright, proud yellow, meanwhile, serves as a background. The colours of the Ukrainian flag thus tell us an extremely intimate and personal story. At the festival Sotto le Stelle dell’Austria 2023.

Memories

How beautiful it was to be a child! And how beautiful were the summer days spent playing happily with cousins at the grandparents’ house! The Ukrainian director Alexandra Dzhiganskaya knows it well. With her short film Under the endless Sky – already presented at the Tricky Women/Tricky Realities Film Festival in Vienna and also screened as an Italian premiere at the festival Sotto le Stelle dell’Austria 2023 – she has retraced the milestones of her childhood when everything was perfect. When even in Ukraine, life was perfect.

The colours yellow and blue take centre stage on screen. The protagonist’s voice confides in us, telling us about happy days. A little girl runs carefree. The essential strokes of the drawings show us each time different situations: a table full of people, two little girls playing on the meadow, the close-up of the protagonist eating a slice of watermelon, while, at her feet, some chickens are intent on pecking seeds on the meadow. A starry sky capable of arousing the most tender memories. As time passes, everything inevitably changes. Fortunately, however, there is always the same sky that can keep the memories of the past alive.

Under the endless Sky, then, is a little poetic short film that, in its apparent simplicity, has found the right way to convey the idea of how the young director’s world was. A few essential blue strokes represent each time a different image. A bright and proud yellow, meanwhile, serves as a background. The colours of the flag of Ukraine thus tell us an extremely intimate and personal story with universal connotations.

Everything is in constant motion, nothing remains the same forever, in Under the endless Sky. Thus, also the concept of time plays here a central role. The little girl slowly becomes an adult. Her cousin, her playmate, moves to Germany for good. Her grandfather, unfortunately, is now only a tender memory. Yet, what has been can never be erased and by looking at the sky it can finally live forever.

Alexandra Dzhiganskaya, for her part, has shown an extraordinary visual talent by opting for a simple but effective mise-en-scène and making her two-dimensional drawings extremely vibrant and impressive. Her precious little Under the endless Sky is a very personal, delicate and moving work, which in telling its own story also becomes a metaphor for what history has been and what the situation of an entire nation is today. And for this reason, too, it can be deeply painful. Can that beautiful starry sky ever continue to make us dream?

Original title: Under the endless Sky
Directed by: Alexandra Dzhiganskaya
Country/year: Austria, Ukraine / 2022
Running time: 4’
Genre: animation
Screenplay: Alexandra Dzhiganskaya
Cinematography: Alexandra Dzhiganskaya
Produced by: Alexandra Dzhiganskaya

Info: the page of Under the endless sky on the website of the Tricky Women/Tricky Realities Film Festival