Loznitsa described the decision as “a gift to the Russian propagandists of the Ukrainian Film Academy”.
Sergei Loznitsa, the Ukrainian director who resigned from the European Film Academy over his response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, was expelled from the Ukrainian Film Academy for expressing his support for Russian filmmakers. In a statement on Saturday, March 19, Loznitsa wrote that he was expelled for being, in the words of the Academy, “a cosmopolitan”, accused of being insufficiently loyal to his home country.
Loznitsa, best known for directing the films ‘Donbass’ and ‘A Gentle Creature’, initially made waves for criticizing the European Film Academy’s lukewarm response to Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine . The Academy issued a bland statement offering support for Ukrainians without denouncing Russia.
“What a shameful text has been generated by the European Film Academy,” Loznitsa wrote in response. “You state in your speech that there are 61 Ukrainian members in your ranks. Well, as of now, there are only 60. I don’t need you to ‘watch out and keep in touch with me’, thank you very much!
But while Loznitsa wants to see Vladimir Putin and the Russian government punished, he doesn’t think Russian citizens should face the consequences of a war that many of them oppose. He has been a strong advocate for Russian filmmakers and artists, including the film industry, to continue to include Russian films in festivals.
Loznitsa’s position is simple: “In the tragedy of war, I strongly believe in keeping common sense about them. I am against the boycott of my fellow Russian filmmakers who denounce the crimes of the Putin regime,” he wrote in his statement announcing his expulsion from the Ukrainian Film Academy.
Loznitsa went on to deplore the organization’s nationalist stance, writing that “it is not the civil and political viewpoint of every citizen of the country that counts; it is not the aspiration to unite all the freedom-loving and free-thinking peoples of the world against Russian aggression; it is not the creation of an international effort of all the democratic countries of the world to win this war; it is “national identity” that matters most. Unfortunately, it is Nazism. A gift to the Kremlin propagandists of the Ukrainian film academy.
Loznitsa ended her statement with a plea: “I sincerely wish everyone to stay sane during this tragic time.”