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Hindsight 

VHS essay film, experimental documentary
18 min, 2023
A look at the fragility of our roots, the impermanence of our cultures, and the transience of our freedoms through the lens of a traveling VHS camera in the late 1990s. Hindsight offers a visual meditation on the memories of two young Ukrainians emerging from the fall of the Iron Curtain.
Directed and edited by Max Rykov
Material was captured by Anna Rykova and Igor Rykov between 1995 and 2004

Trailer

Director's Statement

This essay film is built of VHS material shot by my parents that was digitized on my most recent trip home to Kyiv before the war. Since then, due to martial law, I am not able to travel home freely. My parents, on the other hand, did not have the opportunity to travel outside of the Soviet Union until their 20s. Following the collapse of the USSR, they took advantage of newly opened borders to explore the wider world. Hindsight takes the viewer on a journey from Ukraine’s post communist heartland, through Vietnam, Cambodia, India, and westward to the post revolutionary Republic of Cuba.

 

In the process, Hindsight explores rugged hill tribes, stateless floating villages and even the monastic traditions of Thailand through the lens of Ukrainian emigrants.

Hindsight delves into the elusive nature of roots and cultural values – what they meant then and what they mean now. Set against the backdrop of Kyiv, my birthplace, the film prompts contemplation on identity, belonging, and the intangible threads that bind humanity across generations and geographical boundaries.

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