IFFK special: ‘Atlantis' is brilliant for what it says and what it leaves unsaid
In Greek mythology, Atlantis is the Island that was submerged. Valentyn Vasyanovych’s 2019 film 'Atlantis' is set in 2025 post war 'submerged' Ukraine, where the country is irreparably damaged despite winning the war against Russia.
One of the characters says that even the water has been so severely polluted that it might take decades or even centuries to bring it back to normal. But the movie is not just about aftereffects of war or its impact on nature.
The second scene in the movie introduces us to two of the main characters. Sergiy and Ivan are seen in combat boots taking target practise. But they are not soldiers anymore, rather they are factory workers. Being engaged in war like situations is the only way the two feel alive in their lifeless surroundings.
Both these characters are suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). But it is more evident in the case of Ivan, who cannot even stand for himself any longer. Meanwhile, Sergiy's state of mind is revealed more through how he hugs his love interest while she comforts him as if she understands what he has gone through in life.
The movie's opening sequences are filled machoness and macho images. Images of molten metal, big trucks, war machinery among others makes the audience understand the world in which these characters live in.
The camera and the editing sets the rhythm of the movie by detaching itself from the plight of the characters.
The director does not employ close ups or background music to evoke audience's emotion. But through clever juxtapositions, we understand the mental state of the characters.
‘Atlantis' is a brilliant film for what it says and what it leaves unsaid.