Nazi SS troops line up Kyiv Jews in front of the shooting pit during the Babi Yar massacre

Ukrainian film shows 'deep history' of Holocaust massacre

'Babi Yar. Context', unveiled at Cannes Film Festival, tells story of the mass killing that marked the start of the Holocaust in occupied Soviet Ukraine, as well as surrounding events

Reuters |
Published: 07.12.21, 21:56
Archive footage and photographs preserve memories of one of the biggest single massacres of Jews during the Nazi Holocaust in a documentary premiered by Ukrainian director Sergei Loznitsa on Monday.
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  • "Babi Yar. Context", unveiled at the Cannes Film Festival, tells the story of the mass killing that marked the start of the Holocaust in occupied Soviet Ukraine, as well as surrounding events. The movie uses film and stills from state and public archives in Russia, Germany and Ukraine, some of which were never seen before.
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    Nazi SS troops line up Kyiv Jews in front of the shooting pit during the Babi Yar massacre
    Nazi SS troops line up Kyiv Jews in front of the shooting pit during the Babi Yar massacre
    Nazi SS troops line up Kyiv Jews in front of the shooting pit during the Babi Yar massacre
    (Photo: Gettyimages)
    "It is a deep history and we have to know our history, and films must provoke interest in our history," Loznitsa said at the launch.
    Nazi German forces shot dead an estimated 34,000 Jewish men, women and children on Sept. 29-30, 1941, in a large ravine known both as Babi Yar and Babyn Yar, on the edge of Kyiv.
    The 56-year-old director said he grew up in the city, not far from the site, and found traces of the past as he wandered around as a child.
    "I remember the stones which they left ... when they destroyed the Jewish cemetery. The stones were in the bushes," he said. "I asked myself what happened here, what is it?"
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    קרובי משפחה של קורבנות באבי יאר בטקס זיכרון
    קרובי משפחה של קורבנות באבי יאר בטקס זיכרון
    Relatives of Babi Yar victims partake in a memorial
    But the adults around him were not forthcoming. "They would say, when you will grow up you will know."
    "Babi Yar. Context" is Loznitsa's seventh film at the Cannes festival. In 2012, his movie "In the Fog" competed for the Palme d'Or.
    In May, Ukraine unveiled a synagogue built of wood and designed to unfold like a pop-up book at a site commemorating the victims of the massacre.
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