When Spring Came to Bucha + Away

When Spring Came to Bucha

Director: Mila Teshaieva, Marcus Lenz
Country: Ukraine, Germany
Year: 2022
Runtime: 66 min
Cinematographer: Marcus Lenz, Mila Teshaieva
Editing: Yevgenia Danilenko, Julia Wiedwald
Music: DakhaBrakha, Ganna Gryniva
Sound Design: Andriy Niedzelsky
Production Company: Wildfilms

Russians bombarded Bucha, Borodyanka, Irpin and other cities in the region following their invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022. By the time they retreated a month later, the damage was huge: buildings had been destroyed and there were corpses lying in the streets. Filmmakers Mila Teshaieva and Marcus Lenz went in immediately, in time to film local people emerging from their shelters, but never showing the actual atrocities. That wasn’t necessary, as the trauma of war is clear to see on everyone’s faces, including those of the volunteers who rushed in from far and wide to help.

Over the course of several weeks, the filmmakers follow various residents as they pick themselves up from the smoldering ruins. The dead are identified, debris is cleared, and prosecutors start talking about a war tribunal. At first, all is despair—accompanied by sheer bafflement that they have been attacked by a country with so many ties to families and friends. But as the first blossoms of spring start appearing, these Ukrainians also reveal their resilience.

Language: Ukrainian, Russian
Subtitles: Estonian, English


Director, cinematography and editing: Ruslan Fedotow
Country: Hungary, Belgium, Portugal
Year: 2022
Runtime: 28 min
Sound: Andrey Dergachev
Production: Ruslan Fedotow for DocNomads

A heartbreaking portrait of 16-year-old Ukrainian refugees Andrey and Alisa, who help out at a school for refugee children in Budapest. Andrey asks the children to draw pictures of something from back home in Ukraine. What beautiful things can they recall? He offers the example of his own grandfather’s cherry orchard. The children use confrontational, adult vocabulary to describe their experiences of war. A young boy earnestly goes through a number of battle strategies, and a girl provides a vivid account of a rocket attack.

After school, the young couple make colorful protest artwork out on the streets of the Hungarian capital, sparking discussions between pro-Russian and pro-Ukrainian passersby. The camera films the pair without commentary, capturing the everyday fun had by two teenagers in love, as well as the difficult phone calls to the home front. Reassuring stories of ripening cherries are welcome, but the sadness of the war, the imminent trauma and the growing awareness of their wrecked youth is unfortunately ever-present.

Language: Ukrainian, Russian, English, Hungarian
Subtitles: Estonian, English

  • Name in Original Language: When Spring Came to Bucha + Away
  • Length: 94 min


  • Tartu Elektriteater: Thursday, 2.02 - 18:00
  • Cinema Artis, hall 2: Friday, 3.02 - 19:00
  • Cinema Artis, hall 1: Sunday, 5.02 - 13:30