At one point, we all believed that the age of globalization would bring new ways of understanding and accepting the others. And yet, the condition of the immigrant is still a topic of striking relevance, which always puts us in front of an untamed reality. ‘Soyka‘ is a short film based on the story of a young immigrant woman depicting the struggle for survival in a modern present that, however, is far from being as open-minded as one might think. Thus, Anastasiya Sergienya mixes in her project stereotypes, daily challenges and social phobias that are suggestively reflected in the portrait of a touching protagonist. The condition of women in society becomes rather a pretext allowing a general overview of a civilized society, but insufficiently prepared to fully accept the presence of a stranger. Still, the short film is not an acid social critique, since the director succinctly presents how her character strives to adapt to the different demands imposed by her new existence.

 

Basically, the project follows the attempts of Anna, a young woman from Belarus, to face a new life in the United States today, being often forced to resort to various compromises. Without being based on an extremely compact narrative, Anna’s adventures have the appearance of a succession of flashes that capture the protagonist’s diverse experiences, like in a kaleidoscope of sensations and feelings. Of course, this formula has its risks, since it tends to illustrate in a far too general way the identity of the main character whose story is not entirely explored. However, Anastasiya Sergienya’s directorial style manages to fully compensate for these potential disadvantages both through a clear image with a vibrant chromatic and a well-paced progression. The aesthetic of this flamboyant realism in which we find emotions, colours, silences and shadows, condenses an equally strange and emotional atmosphere that makes ‘Soyka’ a short film executed with a special talent. All we can hope for this short film is to be the first step towards a feature at least as magnetic.

 

For the sensitivity with which it captures the condition of the contemporary immigrant in a kaleidoscope of emotions and sensations and for the professionalism with which the director orchestrates a vibrant and magnetic imagery, ‘Soyka’ was awarded with the 2nd Film of the Month distinction in the February 2021 edition of TMFF.

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