Documentary Weeks in Berdyansk
During the forced lockdown, school students of Berdyansk still had things to do. As a part of the YES to Mixed Education! project, over 180 children watched films from the DOCU/CLUB Network selection online.
20 January 2021

The event initiator, deputy director and manager of the Docudays UA film club Maryna Masiutina emphasized: “The quarantine restrictions exacerbated the challenges faced by Ukraine’s education institutions. These challenges are also relevant for education institutions in Berdyansk, especially for extracurricular education institutions. The example of informal education in Europe signifies that quality education in an extracurricular education institution is possible even with significantly fewer offline classes. But this requires skilled use of online technology with the appropriate methodological approaches which ensure an effective combination of direct and indirect forms of interaction between students and teachers in the form of mixed teaching. It is a combination of offline and online learning in various proportions.”


The event organizers prepared a selection of 12 human rights films for an audience of children. All the screenings took place online to avoid breaking the quarantine restrictions. Middle- and high-schoolers were invited to participate from all the collectives at the facility: Debates, Jun Press, Sonechko Band, Marlen Band, Speaking Polish, Guitar Band, Fantasy Art Studio, and the theater class. Some of the students participated in such an event for the first time, so there was a lot of emotion.



“We watched the documentary "Liza, Go Home". Even though the film seems peaceful, but you cannot watch it without internal tension. I liked the film because it touches upon the relevant problems of our time which concern children’s rights. Millions of families across the world have similar problems, and we have to talk about them, so that children have a chance to grow up as normal members of society and to live happy lives,” said Polina Zaytseva, a student of the Psychological Studies class.


“My attention was drawn the most to ‘silent scenes,’ where nobody said anything, but through images, certain events or items, we understood the meaning and could even find something for ourselves. In general, I was shocked and horrified by the film, the terrible conditions in which the poor child lives, how her parents snap at her, she lives amid chaos. The girl runs away from home every day just to be in silence, and she does not want to come back because she’s scared. But even in this hopeless situation she lives for her dream and tries to fulfill it. For me, it’s also a sign that whatever your life is like, don’t stop dreaming and do something to fulfill your dreams,” added the girl.



“Today, we watched the film Bully and discussed the topic of bullying in public spaces. The discussion allowed me to learn and helped me better understand the problem. The film shows real video reactions of adults (parents, school administration, teachers) to children’s aggressive behavior towards others. The film teaches, in the case of bullying, not to keep silent, to talk about it, and not to minimize your problems. I am against violence in any form. It ruins people’s lives and mental (and sometimes also physical) health and spreads ‘poison’ among the observers. I have never been violent and never been a victim of violence, which I am very happy about!” says Deriya Ozdemir from the Debates class.



“This week at the Yevheniya Rudneva Center for Children’s and Youth Creativity is dedicated to watching documentaries. The band students watched the documentary Giovanni and the Water Ballet. It’s a film about a child’s dream and the path towards achieving the dream. Persistent training and motivation helped the boy to reach his goal. We thank the organizers for letting us not just watch a film and analyze it, but also work in teams, discuss, prepare questions, answer them… The students and personally I really liked it!” noted Olena Shynkarenko, the head of the Sonechko Band.


The DOCU/CLUB Network—For Reforms! project is funded by the European Union and the National Endowment for Democracy.

Maryna Masiutina

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If you wish to use the film-collection of Docudays UA International Human Rights Film Festival, we invite you to join the network of permanent Docudays UA educational film clubs on human rights