“ArtMoscovia”. Svetlana GELECH: “I Want to Turn Something Round in Our Compatriots’ Minds, Some Detail that is Responsible for Respect and Most Importantly Empathy to Old Age”

07/06/2020 08:00

“ArtMoscowia” publishes reviews and interviews about films of the Sevastopol International Festival Documentary Films and TV Programs “VICTORIOUS TOGETHER”, a joint project of the Council on Film and Video Visualization of Cultural and Historical Space of Eurasia of the Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly, the Eurasian Academy of Television and Radio, the Government of Sevastopol, “Channel One. World Wide Web”- The Victory Channel.

In May 2020, the All-Russian pitching debutants and the 16th International Festival of Documentary Films and Television Programs “Victorious Together”, dedicated to the Year of Memory and Glory, took place in Sevastopol. The winner of the Sevastopol debutants pitching - 2020 was a short film “Pelageya”, the script was written by Svetlana Gelech. The film tells the story of Pelageya, 96-year-old participant of the Great Patriotic War. Pelageya lives with her daughter-in-law who does not love her. On May 9, beloved grandson of Pelagia comes to visit them, and she dreams about him to take her to his city. We talked with Svetlana about the future film and its heroes, and about the memory of the Great Patriotic War.

- Hello Svetlana! What are your impressions of Sevastopol pitching? What was most important thing for you?

- Hello, Marina! Participation in the Sevastopol pitching debutants was exciting, although it took place in an online format. Competition experts are eminent film industry professionals, famous and respected masters. I am happy that I was able to tell them about my project as part of this pitching contest.

- Please, tell us, why did you decided to create this script? How did you find to the topic?

- I witnessed the tragedy of Pelagia. Pelagia is a real hero. I was lucky talking to her, reading her letters from the front, postcards, considering her medals. She did not like to talk about the war, but she adored Pasternak (forbidden in the times of her youth). Therefore, it is very important for me to implement this project. This is a matter of honor. I want to help old people who find themselves in similar situations. I am sure that such anti-example will help relatives of elderly people to understand that being old is not a disease and not just the expectation of death. Old people are as we are and sometimes they are real heroes.

- What is the Great Patriotic War for you? Do you have any relatives who survived it?

- Unfortunately, almost all my relatives were killed in the Great Patriotic War. Moreover, for my family, this war is a personal tragedy, behind which there are suddenly interrupted lives, broken dreams and hopes. When my great-grandfather went to war - at night, in winter, on horseback - the youngest three-year-old son understood everything at once - he ran out of the house, pulled after his father, as he was, barefoot, through  snowdrifts, until he fell, calling his father. He never came back from that war.

- Whom is your film first addressed to?

- To all those who are responsible for their old parents, relatives (yes, yes, exactly they are responsible). I want to turn something round in our compatriots’ minds, some detail that is responsible for respect, and most importantly empathy to old age.

Interviewed by Marina ABRAMOVA,

Photo by Svetlana TOSHUR