ROSES

ROSES
A Documentary by Irena Stetsenko
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Project Information

About the project
LOCKLINEThe art of peace and love against the war background.

Love, beauty, talent, music, poetry, prophecy, creativity, provocativity, femininity, losses, victories, hopes, consciousness, sorrow, faith, laughter, crying, motherhood, fragility, strength, and the fate of 7 actresses of freak cabaret Dakh Daughters band against the background of the Revolution of Dignity and the undeclared war in Ukraine. 7 fragile girls have been the object of observation for three years.

7 characters merge into a single artistic organism, which has the ability to change, educate and guide the audience towards love, art, awareness of cultural traditions of the country, civil selfconsciousness. They also change, reshape themselves. Loss of the beloved ones and those human losses, which Ukraine suffers, make girls more mature. They are fruitful in their art as well as literally become mothers "without leaving the stage".

They have been together for 14 years under the roof of one of the most interesting theaters in Kyiv - Dakh -  which means a "roof" in Ukrainian. Under the guidance of a talented director and a wise "father" Vladyslav Troitsky, Dakh Theatre has long been known in Europe for its interesting experimental performances. 7 actresses of the theater created a musical theater project – an intellectual freak cabaret Dakh Daughters Band.

For three years the camera has been observing their tight concert schedule, work in the theater, their festival activity. It can easily seem that they have no time for personal, behind-the-scenes life at all. Nevertheless, they manage to love, raise children, give birth to them without taking any break from performing. Despite their rapidly growing fame, there is no single trace of stardom in their behaviour. They are easy-to-communicate, unpretentious in everyday life, always ready to knock together a stage, to move a platform, carry their heavy instruments.

They deeply feel the war in the country. They give all their heart and soul to performing because culture creates consciousness. Their performances, communication with public and journalists is like an injection of freedom, dignity, respect and love for people and themselves. They don't feel ashamed to talk about love during the war. This energy attracts attention.

Getting acquainted with their art and theatrical projects, somehow you miss the point when the ingenious prophetic dramaturgy and art direction ends and the reality begins. The same happens when you spend your time with them in everyday life. You simply miss the moment when the acting ends and pure real emotions begin. In spite of the tragic events’ background, we observe a lot of humor. These strong fragile girls fill everything and everyone with love and hope.

The film is full of live intraframe music, demonstrating creativity of the characters.

Everything happening in the country is shown to the audience by means of quotations from the Dakh theater performances and the band’s musical theater ones. I.e. we are following the development of the situation through the eyes of the artist, through the eyes of our main characters. Woman’s eyes, which is noteworthy. The film editing is similar to the "woman’s reason", which is more sensual and associative than consistent.

No interviews or narrative! Just documented real life. Or theatre?...

 

Film scenes:

History of creation of the sculpture as a gift to Maidan by a young French sculptor Amir Roti. A face of Natali Zozul (Zo), one of the heroines, served for face cast model. The sculpture symbolises “New Ukraine” lifting out of water.
Following the tragic events in Maidan, we are witnessing a process of artistic creation: the actors are converting the abandoned factory into an art space with concert venues and stage on their own (and lie down exhausted).
Performance in Moscow immediately after the revolution. The moment when the phrase "Freedom is an expensive thing, but it is worth fighting for!" was pronounced from the stage of the aggressor state.
Funeral of one of the actresses’ father. Friends-actors came to support her. Tears prevented friends to finish the folk funeral song there. But Ruslana picked up and sang another verse herself to give the last joy to the soul of her father.
Right after the last concert of the big complex tour the actresses get into the train. They have no other choice but having dinner and removing theatrical make-up right in the compartment. The skin hurts from everyday use of it, but sense of humor, love for people and for profession help them to recuperate.
Natalia very far gone in pregnancy, not missing the rehearsals in the Dakh Theatre.

 

IRENA STETSENKO, director

My husband DOP Serhiy Stetsenko and I have been friends with the girls for a long time. In the beginning of 2013, a year before the revolution, I became their soundproducer. Together we made a way from the first concert at a big stage to the first album of not musicians but actresses. Together we went through both the first deaths at Maidan and the loss of the beloved ones. I learned a lot from them: not to be afraid of doing what you like, not to be afraid of saying what you think, not to be afraid of loving and creating, creating, creating…
In such a way I gained the courage to become a director, since my husband and I had been filming girls for a long time due to our documentary habit.

This story from inside, from me as a member of the team, soundproducer of the band and film director at the same time.

Through collaboration and friendship with the characters, I managed to make a good live material. This three-year experience is so valuable for me that I so much strive to make a film out of it as perfect as possible. Accompanying the girls on tours, I saw so many soulful faces during and after their performances! Charged with their energy, people create new art, gain confidence in themselves and in their own country.

I really want this film to be released for theatrical run apart from participating in the festivals around the world, so that more and more people could hear still relevant thoughts, learn more about their own folk traditions and Ukrainian literature, somehow in significant amounts vanished due to purges and the influence of aggressive Soviet ideology; as well as inherit the desire to love and to create.

 

DENYS VORONTSOV, producer

Currently, the film project is on the post-production stage and requires the full set of works with sound and image. This stage is the most responsible and difficult one, both artistically and technically.

Editing is already in progress, and I am happy to see the first results of the laborious and thoughtful team work by the director Irena Stetsenko and the editing director Hanna Sorokolit. Their sophisticated fascination with the material, their doubts and respective reflections, their exquisite search for senses and dramaturgic constructions motivate and inspire.

Those several episodes that we have ready leave no doubts as to the successful accomplishment of this long-term collective creative process.

Given the fact that this is a music documentary (apart from rehearsals and jam sessions, there is footage from over 10 Dakh Daughters Band concerts to be used), it requires comprehensive work with the sound. Two studios are to be involved upon the sound mixing: besides the core 5:1 one, there will also be a music studio that will reconstruct the magic of the band’s concert energy.

The footage was filmed with different cameras, so it requires qualified and high-quality colour correction.

 

Dear Friends!

Thank you very much for your interest. 

We expect that your financial and emotional support, as well as our creative and technical efforts, will result in a full length documentary as the wholesome artwork.

We are sure, it will have all chances to impress the audience with a technical perfection of sound and image, as well as with its dramaturgic component, and respectively become a remarkable event both at festival and theatrical run.

 

 

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Quote that inspired the maker

“Creating is like a natural self-defense. When lots of good people pass away, you understand that you have to give birth quicker ... both - in creative terms, as well as children…”
Natalka, a film character
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