Thursday 27 June 2019

Volcano - film review

Directed by Roman Bondarchuk, Volcano follows interpreter Lukas (Serhiy Stepansky), who is accidentally abandoned by a UN-like governmental team while on a mission to the Ukrainian border region near Crimea. With nowhere to turn, this city boy finds shelter at the home of a local man, Vova who lives with his daughter and mother. 

Although this is a film about life in a conflict zone, it's also about survival in environmentally difficult circumstances. Vova and his family have an erratic water supply even though they live near a large reservoir. This reservoir was created by flooding a nearby village. The women who used to live in this village have formed a choir that wanders round the countryside singing on random occasions. 

Lukas asks Vova's mother why she stays despite the conflicts and the difficulties with the water supply and her answer is that the land, the water and the steppe hold her there. 

Lukas is an infuriatingly pasive character, who seems unable to make a decision for himself or to get himself out of the situation he finds himself in. There also seems to be no character development for him through the course of the film. 

It's a distinctly odd film and at least for this reviewer not the comedy it is billed as being.

Volcano is screening as part of Edinburgh International Film Festival 2019 at 1540 Saturday 29 June at Odeon Lothian Road and at 1330 Sunday 30 June at Vue Omni Centre. You can buy tickets here.  

You can read my earlier reviews from Edinburgh International Film Festival 2019, by following the links below:

Boyz in the Wood a group of teenage boys get lost in the Scottish Highlands.

2040 - can technology offer solutions to our current climate and ecological crises?

 Bait - Cornish fishermen try to adapt to a changing world

How to Fake  a War (on my Shapeshifting Green blog) what happens when a rock star decides to meddle in international affairs?

Farm Animals on Film - featuring The Biggest Little Farm - an inspiring story of the creation of a sustainable biodiverse farm in California, plus Vulture, an experimental film about farm animals.

Virgin and Extra: Land of the Olive Oil.

Chef Diaries: Scotland - Spanish chefs the Roca brothers take the viewer on a culinary road trip round Scotland.

Up the Mountain - a year in an artists' studio in the Chinese mountains.

The Amber Light - a cinematic ode to Scotland's national drink

Aren't You Happy (on my Shapeshifting Green blog) - a writer searches for the meaning of life while not actually writing anything

The Deer - a Basque language film following two poachers in a national park on the outskirts of San Sebastien.

Hurt by Paradise - a poet keeps searching for a publisher and an actor keeps trying to get a role

Photograph (on my Shapeshifting Green blog) - a street photographer in Mumbai invents a fiancee for himself....

Endzeit - an ecofeminist road movie with zombies. 

Vai and Venezia - 2 films from sinking worlds. 

Hamada - (on my Shapeshiting Green blog) life for young refugees of the Sahwari people in the Sahara.

Disclaimer: I have a press pass for the film festival and attended a free press screening of these films.

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