Self Expression Magazine


By Myfilmproject09

I usually don't get into politics but have noticed that I get 8 people from Ukraine reading my blog. They are my people, so to speak. And I most certainly am with them for the struggle that's going on with that short KGB person.
My grandparents came to Canada about 100 years ago, they were peasants, farmers who were tired of being trampled on for the last 300 years by Poland, Austria and Russia. They came with only their clothes and went to the prairies of the Canadian west where land was
Ukraine waiting. Canada wanted to fill in the vast lands of the west and Ukrainians were part of that.
My dad is second from the left, with a buttoned coat.
Not that it was always easy; Ukrainians and Jews were picked on, not to the extent in USA, but still were considered beneath the English and Scottish who had settled before. But this isn't about old wounds.
Ukrainians are believed to have begun settling in their land 44,000 years ago. Did you get that? Forty-four thousand years ago. And they were part of domesticating horses. This was long before England and Scotland. By the Middle Ages it was ruled by various groups and by the 1700's were ruled by the Cossacks. After that, it fell to the three countries mentioned above.
What about Ukrainian filmmakers?
One of the most influential directors was Alexander Dovzhenko who created a distinct style
Ukraineof filmmaking which, though he was under the rule of the Soviets, still managed to make films with a Ukrainian twist. I've seen a few of his silent films at UCLA.
Another famous Ukrainian director was Sergei Bondarchuck, who also made feature films his way, even though both directors were under the Soviet rule. (By the way, I always wondered about the "chuk" added to many Ukrainians, myself included (Makichuk). 
One of the most famous films was Battleship Potemkin, strangely now in the news. One of it's most known scenes was shot at the Odessa Steps that has been copied several times in the U.S. with the most notable being Brian DePalma's The Untouchables, with Kevin Costner and Sean Connery. 

You should try to find a recent film, Everything is Illuminated, with Ilijah Wood and directed by actor Liev Schreiber who wrote and directed the movie from a book. He also plays Ray Donovan on Showtime.

Other notable Ukrainians are Milla Jovovich, Mila Kunis, Vera Farmigna (Bates Motel) and her sister Tiassa, Olga Kurylenko who did the Bond movie Quantum of Solace and with Tom Cruise in Oblivion.

And if you watch History Channel's Vikings, there's Katheryn Winnick.

Then there's the actors of the 1940's and 50's including John Hodiak and Nick Adams, and someone I knew, Jack Palance, who did a lot of major films, including the classic western, Shane, on of my favorites.

So there you go, a big hello to my Ukrainian friends whom I've never met and hope the best for. I was supposed to go to Lviv last year for a screenwriting seminar but the organizers couldn't get it together. Maybe yet, I'll get to the homeland. The photo of the farmhouse was built by my father and his siblings as well as his father and mother.


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