World premiere

Sashenka

Local title
Sašake
Original title
Сашенька
Director
Olexandr Zhovna
Country
Ukraine
Year
2022
Programme
Official Selection - Competition
Genre
psychological drama
Subject
child-parent relationships, sexual orientation

Olexandr Zhovna has said about himself and his creation that he is interested in borderline situations, in the parallel world of people of unusual mental, intellectual and physical development. While having long been a recognised writer and scriptwriter in Ukraine, he continued working in a small town as a pedagogue-defectologist at a boarding school for children with special mental needs. He has also expressed the idea that he is more interested in communicating with people with special mental needs than writing to people with special needs.

There has been a double murder: the elderly couple who slept on the second floor of a house have been killed in their sleep. Downstairs, their adult son who only moves about in a wheelchair has been left without parental assistance. An investigation is initiated, unrolling the increasingly horrifying story of a seemingly normal family, starting from how they had expected a girl instead of a boy. The child of unwanted gender becomes an idee fixe for the mother and Sachenka is raised as a girl: he is dressed in a girl’s clothes, he must play with dolls, etc. The father supports his wife.

In parallel to the fascinating criminal plot, the author provocatively moves into the viewer’s consciousness with a topical debate of modern pedagogy about gender-upbringing. The author himself does not claim anything. He just tells a story of people in an unusual mental state in a borderline situation.

Mihkel Möölman

Director
Olexandr Zhovna
Screenwriter
Olexandr Zhovna
Cast
Milena Kompaniiets, Dmitry Orlov, Dmitryi Nezhelskyi, Oxana Burlay-Piterova, Viktor Rybchinskiy
Producer
Olexandr Zhovna, Evgeny Sivkov
DoP
Sergey Kolbinev
Production
CINEMASTUDIO
Distributor
Antipode Sales International
Runtime
Language
Ukrainian
Subtitles
Estonian, English
Director
Olexandr Zhovna

Filmograafia: Історія Лізи (Liza's Tale, 2019), Sashenka (2022)

Grand Prix for The Best Film, grant of 20 000 euros from the city of Tallinn

Screenings

Chill-Hall Apollo Kino Coca-Cola Plaza
Screening070101 / Sašake
SubtitlesEnglish, Estonian
Q&A guestsOlexandr Zhovna (Film Director)
Q&A duration
Screening duration
Hall Electric Cinema, Tartu
Screening082201 / Sašake
SubtitlesEnglish, Estonian
Screening duration
9th Hall Apollo Kino Coca-Cola Plaza
Screening170702 / Sašake
SubtitlesEnglish, Estonian
Screening duration
Trailer
Q&A with the filmmaker