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TIFF 2016 Review: Rodnye


Vitaly Mansky’s Rodnye comes on the heels of his enticing film Under the Sun in which he went over the cover of North Korea and while maintaining the facade still of presenting a straightforward documentary.

In Rodnye (which has the brilliant subtitle of Close Relations) he takes the camera to his former hometown of the Ukraine, and despite hailing from there, the film still seems a little bit, how can we put it, off. The camera is seemingly too close and the colours a little too intense and the action seeming to jump right at us, despite action probably being the wrong word.

This is the kind of documentary that we need to go over with a fine-tooth comb, as Mansky feels like a bit of trickster for the film. It’s unclear if the film is made to feel a little obscure in matters related to Ukrainian identity, and if so, just how obscure it is meant to feel. In effect, it feels like a facade film like the previous one, but it’s altogether unique.

[star v=4]