Sergei Loznitsa, the award-winning Ukrainian filmmaker of “Donbass” and “Babi Yar Context,” has spoken against the boycott of Russian films.
Loznitsa said today in a letter received by Variety that “many friends and colleagues, Russian filmmakers, have taken stand against this insane war.”
“When I hear today these calls to ban Russian films, I think of these (filmmakers) who are good people. They are victims as we are of this agression,” added the filmmaker, who previously expressed his dissatisfaction with the European Film Academy over a comment which he considered too mild about the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Loznitsa subsequently wrote a scathing open letter to the EFA and gave up his membership on Monday.
On Tuesday, the board of the EFA decided to exclude Russia from the European Film Awards. But Loznitsa says he never intended to provoke this boycott.
“On February 2022, as the Russian soldiers had just started invading Ukraine, the very first message I received was from my friend Viktor Kossakovski, a Russian filmmaker who said, ‘Forgive me. This is a catastrophe. I’m so ashamed.’ Then later that day, Andrey Zvyagintsev, who is still weakened by a long illness, recorded his message in a video,” said Loznitsa.
“What is happening before our eyes if horrible, but I’m asking you to not fall into craziness. We must not judge people based on their passports. We can judge them on their acts. A passport is tied to the place we happen to be born, whereas an act is that a human being does willingly,” Loznitsa said.