~ Underwater

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documentary trilogy with animated elements

in early production

release ~ February, 2021

duration: 90/52 minutes

director: Oksana Kazmina

protagonists: 
AntiGonna ︎
Kseniya Platanova ︎
Masha Pronina ︎

Animation:
Kateryna Voznytsia ︎
Dana Kavelina ︎

Music:
Lyudska Podoba ︎
Logline
Suppressed and kept in secret for years, childhood traumas can turn into killing monsters. Underwater is a story about three unconventional Ukrainian women who are able to turn these monsters into art – uncompromising and shocking but also vital and healing.

Synopsis
AntiGonna lives between her father’s home in Odessa, her mother’s flat in Vinnytsia, and nightclubs in Kyiv . Her artistic practices involve experimental videos which she calls ‘horror porn’ and actionism – all with her body as the main instrument. Through her art, AntiGonna tries to find a way out of the trap where she got into at the age of thirteen. Then, some gangsters used her to punish her father who had not paid back his debts: she was raped in his presence. Afraid of public condemnation, her mother ordered the girl to stay silent about this event. For many years she has been trying to forgive herself for that rape and to reconcile with herself, her parents , and the world in which such violence and humiliation was possible. Today, as she struggles with severe autoimmune illness and prepares for her first big exhibition, she has to rethink her relationships with both her body and her family.

Kseniya is a hairdresser and an artist from  Zaporizhia, an industrial city in the south-east of Ukraine. In between cutting and dyeing her clients’ hair, she creates mutant dolls from found objects, paper and even food. She invented them in childhood, when she hid from her father’s anger in the corners of their apartment. Her father was and still is an alcohol addict. Now he lives alone and struggles with serious illness. Kseniya has to look after him. She also raises two adopted daughters and supports her elderly mother. Ksenia feels she is on edge, and something urgently needs to be changed. Finding what exactly – would be a good start.

Masha lives in Mariupol,  once a year she visits Donetsk – her hometown, now situated in the war zone in the east of Ukraine. There is her old apartment left, as well as Masha’s memory of  her parents' attempts to exorcise bisexuality from her. Masha constantly fights her bad memories, but she is also strong enough to help children who have psycho-emotional problems by means of art therapy. Masha herself has a bipolar disorder, and making collages from clippings of tabloids, which she collects on the streets of war-torn Ukraine, is one of the most effective ways of surviving depressive episodes in her life. But for some reason Masha refuses professional help, and her friends are afraid that self-treatment is not the best solution. 

Underwater is a journey through  the past and present of three strong, gifted and rebellious women. This journey is not easy, but full of love and sometimes humor. Their art plunges into the dark depths of the personal and social subconscious. However, the glimpses of light there are particularly bright.