About the film

The Whisper of the Steps is a biographic film about the outstanding Ukrainian artists Ada Rybachuk and Volodymyr Melnychenko. The architectural forms they created have become integral signs of modern Kyiv and memorials of the era of Soviet modernism while at the same time they are the symbols of resistance against the merciless totalitarian system of those times.

Work on the film began in October 2018 by the team of Friedrichstrasse Production in collaboration with Real Stories Production. In the summer of 2019, the project was supported by the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation.

The names of Ada Rybachuk and Volodymyr Melnychenko are connected with one of the biggest tragedies in Ukrainian culture.

The artists created the Memory Park in the territory of Baikove Cemetery in central Kyiv – an architectural and landscape complex that connected the crematorium, Farewell Halls and the park. They put a powerful philosophical concept in this space. One of the meaningful elements of Memory Park is the Wall of Remembrance – a monumental composition of high reliefs that are 200 meters long and 7 meters high. Rybachuk and Melnychenko worked on the Wall of Remembrance for almost 13 years but when the work was almost done, the authorities ordered to cover the high reliefs with concrete.

The film shows the life and artistic story of the legendary duet; it shows what the Wall of Remembrance was supposed to be like and what it is like now. The viewer will visit the workshop of the artists, full of wonderful sculptures and paintings as well as love that is stronger than death.

“Our film about the life of Volodymyr Melnychenko and Ada Rybachuk is full of memories about the past. About their creating the concept of Memory Park in Baikove Cemetery. The rhythms of the film are slow. Static shots of architecture are like frozen photographs. According to Ada’s and Volodymyr’s idea, here at Memory Park, a person should feel that death is not the end of life. But the art of ARVM is not only Baikove Cemetery, their art is a huge cultural layer,” says director Ksenya Kravtsova.

“For me, Volodymyr and Ada are people who were never afraid, who followed their feeling ahead of their time and were always open for new experience. That is how I wanted to show them in the film. It was important not just to tell the story of the Wall of Remembrance being created and destroyed, but to make a film about human multifaceted nature and wide world view,” says DOP Vladyslav Nechyporenko.

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