The Lithuanian film director Mantas Kvedaravicius († 45) is dead. He died while filming in the then heavily contested city of Mariupol. This is reported by the online magazine «Slate».
Kvedaravicius stayed in the embattled city for the documentary “Mariupolis 2”. The Lithuanian director already made a film about the city in 2015. At that time, Mariupol was on the front line – between the areas of the pro-Russian separatists and the Ukrainian army. Kvedaravicius showed the life of the people in the contested zone.
“Murdered in Cold Blood”
Seven years later, the director wanted to show the destruction and suffering of the people of Mariupol in the war. Over 90 percent of the buildings in the city have now been destroyed. And the Russian soldiers rage with all severity. The city is now firmly in Russian hands.
Kvedaravicius did not survive the trip to Mariupol either. At the end of March he wanted to leave the city. He was stopped and shot by Russian soldiers. At the end of the past few weeks, his fiancé Hanna Bilobrova, herself a filmmaker, said with tears: “Manta rays were killed. He even had the camera in his hand.” She herself was present at the shooting – she and Kvedaravicus parted only in one day. The day he was shot.
“I wandered through the city for five days to look for him,” says Bilobrova in an interview with the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”. Only then does she find his body. He’s on the street. Shot. “They murdered him in cold blood.”
Now buried in Lithuania
After the Lithuanian’s death, Bilobrova took over the completion of the film. The film was screened for the first time last Thursday at the Cannes Film Festival (F).
The work is around 100 minutes long. It documents the war up close. A man tells about a neighbor. After an explosion, he was thrown through the air with his head half ripped off. “He was still wearing his gardening gloves,” said the man about the neighbors.
Director Mantas Kvedaravicius has now found his last resting place. He was buried in Lithuania. (zis)