By Sara Reginella: “Donbass-Seasons” is a documentary that traces the history of the war in Donbass, from the coup in Kiev to the Odessa massacre through to the start of the conflict. The documentary contains interviews with Nicolai Lilin, Eliseo Bertolasi and Vauro Senesi, the narrating voices of the videos filmed by Eliseo Bertolasi and Sergeij Rulev. Directed by Sara Reginella, “Donbass Seasons” shows the changing of seasons and the flow of life in a land in which life goes on, despite the suffering.
REMEMBERS: 3000 kilometres distance are not the only separation for Rome and Donezk, but war and peace. So, how does a attractive and outgoing Italian woman like get the idea to step up for the former Ukraine? Especially by making a documentary movie about the war in Donbass? Do you have Family or friends there?
Sara Reginella: I have neither family nor friends in Ukraine. I know that it could seem strange, but my activism is connected to pure ideal. I felt a deep sense of impotence and frustration because of censorship of the Western mass media about the Ukrainian conflict. So I thought that I had the moral obligation to do something. This is the reason why I started filming documentaries about Donbass. In fact, we all can do something helpful to create the conditions for a better world.
REMEMBERS: What message do you want to send out to the world, with your commitment to Donbass?
Sara Reginella: Specifically about Donbass, the message is that there was a coup in Kiev, after whom the south-east of Ukraine reacted and the Ukrainian government responded by weapons. In general, I’m trying to communicate to Westerner people that wars supported by Europe and America are causing millions of deaths around the World and that these wars are linked with economic interests… and not with democracy
REMEMBERS: What is the content of your most recent documentary „ Donbass Seasons?”
Sara Reginella: “Donbass-Seasons” traces the history of the war in Donbass, from the coup in Kiev to the Odessa massacre through to the start of the conflict. The target is to show the changing of seasons and the flow of life in a land in which life goes on, despite the suffering caused by the war.
REMEMBERS: How did you develop your personal „60-minute-truth“ about the so called Ukrainian-Crisis? Did you travel to Donbass?
Sara Reginella: Yes, I went to Donbass on April 2015, so I had the chance to see what happened there and to talk with Donbass people. I could personally check how many lies were published by Western mass media. Beyond my personal experience in Donbass, in my documentary I included the reportages of Eliseo Bertolasi and Sergeij Rulev and the interviews to three Italian opinion leaders: Vauro Senesi, Nicolai Lilin and Eliseo Bertolasi.
REMEMBERS: When was the movie made and who are the protagonists?
Sara Reginella: The documentary was made between October and November 2015. The protagonists are the writer Nicolai Lilin, the journalist and caricaturist Vauro Senesi and the reporter and anthropologist Eliseo Bertolasi, the narrating voices of the videos filmed by Eliseo Bertolasi and Sergei Rulev. They released to me interviews by which history of Ukrainian conflict is narrated. In addition to their interviews, I have included Donbass people interviews: from the oldest to the youngest people.
REMEMBERS: What were the best, and what were the hardest moments during the developing phase of the project?
Sara Reginella: The most complicated aspect was to choose which parts of the videos of Donbass and Maidan was better to use. I have watched for dozens of hours the videos of Eliseo Bertolasi and Sergei Rulev. It was not possible to use everything in a documentary of sixty minutes, so I had to do some choices.
The best part was connected to the relationship with people who took part in my project. The collaboration with Nicolai Lilin, Eliseo Bertolasi and Vauro Senesi was a huge enrichment for me. Similarly, I was also lucky to work with people like Michele Senesi, who did the edition and the post-production of the video, and Alec Dreiser, who composed with Carlo Marrone the beautiful soundtrack of Donbass Seasons.
REMEMBERS: Let’s be honest, Sara: Were there scenes, moments or dialogues, you would have wanted to show, but for pillitical or ethnical reasons, didn’t ? If so, what was the reason for your self-censorship?
Sara Reginella: I am honest: working like an indipendent director, it was no necessary for me to do a self-censorship. I have shown all that I wanted to show and I have communicated all that I wanted to communicate. It was no necessary to be politically correct.
REMEMBERS: In how many languages was your documentary released?
Sara Reginella: In my YouTube channel “Sara Reginella Video Projects” the documentary was published in three languages: Russian, English and Italian. Probably, it will be translated also in other languages.
REMEMBERS: The Movie „Masks of Revolution“ by french director Paul Moreira, which has premiered on february 1st on „Canal+“, caused several different worldwide reactions: the french were shocked about how much information, about the situation in Donbass and the Ukraine, was held back by the media. Western and Ukrainian officials accuse the Director of having a cooperation with Putin, to cause wrong opinions about the present situation in the Ukraine. Russian human rights fighters, on the other hand, have honored Moreira with a medal for his bravery and professionalism. How did the viewers react to your movie? How is your present situation? Are you being supported or have been confronted with any kind of threat?
Sara Reginella: Everyday, I receive messages by people who thank me for this documentary. In general, the reactions are positive. Obviously there are also people who do not appreciate my work. But I tend to focus my attention on people who support me.
REMEMBERS: Your documentary has been released in german now. How do you think, will the german speaking people react to it?
Sara Reginella: Germans are great people, I am sure that they will appreciate “Donbass Seasons”.
REMEMBERS: Has „ Donbass Seasons“ been your first movie about the war in Donbass?
Sara Reginella: “Donbass Seasons” was preceded by two short videos: “I’m Italian” and “Voices”. “I’m Italian” was the response to the viral video “I’m a Ukrainian”, and “Voices” is a video-document that connects the tragedy of Donbass people with problems of Italian workers because of sanctions against Russia. These videos are visible on my YouTube channel.
REMEMBERS: What is the general knowledge about the Ukrainien-Conflict? What has been published in the official media, press and through politicians? And what does the italian majority think about the war in Donbass? Its causes? Its authorities? Who ist fighting against whom?
Sara Reginella: Most of Italian mass media and Italian politicians gave distorted news about Donbass war. Therefore, the majority of the Italian population does not know that in Kiev there was a coup and believes that Russia has invaded Ukraine …
REMEMBERS: In your opinion, what are the chances for Donbass to become free and independent? After its, bloody and now two years ongoing fight?
Sara Reginella: After the coup, and after all this bloodshed, I think that Donbass should be recognized as independent. My hope is that this process of indipendence can occur through diplomatical instruments.
REMEMBERS: Thank you for fighting for the truth, and thank you for fighting for the innocent people in Donbass. Mile grazie & bol’schoe spasibo!