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Steven Spielberg heads to Kyiv

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Sept. 20, 2006, 9:46 p.m. | About Kyiv — by Alexandra Matoshko

Alexandra Matoshko

Kyiv Post Guide Editor

American director to arrive to Ukraine to present a documentary on Holocaust October 18 to attend a screening of Sergey Bukovskiy’s documentary on the Holocaust in Ukraine, “Call Your Name.” Spielberg co-produced the movie together with Ukrainian businessman Viktor Pinchuk. The film was based on over 3000 video testimonies of Holocaust survivors and witnesses collected in Ukraine by the American Shoah Foundation, which Steven Spielberg founded.

The movie creators hope that the documentary evidence shown in the film will allow the viewer to conceive the scale of the tragedy experienced by Jewish people during the Second World War. However, the movie “Call My Name,” to appear in local theatres in October, will be the first Ukrainian documentary ever to be widely released here and, therefore, it’s still unclear, even to the film’s distributors, whether the film will appeal to local audiences who mainly attend movies for entertainment’s sake.

But all that aside, it will be good to have Mr Spielberg here. After all, with the exception of Milla Jovovich, who just happens to have been born in Kyiv, Hollywood stars hardly ever find their way to Ukraine’s capital. It’s understandable of course – what is there for them to do here anyway? However, those standing behind the camera – European, and sometimes American directors – do come to Kyiv from time to time to help open a festival or engage in some project. But among them it seldom happens that a personality such as Steven Spielberg – one of the few directors known by sight worldwide graces Kyiv with his presence. I mean, perhaps not every local viewer has seen “Schindler’s List” or even “Saving Private Ryan,” but who doesn’t know “Indiana Jones,” “Jurassic Park” or “E.T.”? As well as their creator – the guy with a beard, glasses and a baseball cap? Indeed, Mr Spielberg, you are very welcome!
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