A presentation of another documentary film about the Ukrainian singer of Crimean Tatar origin, winner of the Music Competition Eurovision-2016 Jamala took place in Kyiv. Swedish journalist Elin Jonsson was the author and director of the movie "Jamala’s Struggle" produced by the Swedish television channel SVT.
She notes that she really wanted to make a documentary not actually about Jamala, but about the situation in Crimea after its occupation by Russia in 2014.
“However, at some point, I realized that if I make just a film about the Crimea, it will be watched by a maximum of 10 thousand Swedes who are interested in Crimea and monitor the situation there. Due to Jamala I intended to attract attention and interest those who know nothing about the problem in the Crimea, and so that they could see something that was not exactly expected," Jonsson said.
The film was shoot place in Kyiv and in the Crimea, in particular in the native village of the singer - Küçük Özen near Alushta and in Simferopol outside the Supreme "court" of the Crimea.
It did not go without excesses, the author of the film notes. When crossing the border, the entire film crew was interrogated for five hours, and on the way back, Russian border guards took fingerprints from Jonsson and photographed her as a criminal offender.
“It was very important for me to show in what situation the Crimean Tatars found themselves in Crimea after the occupation. I wanted to link history with today's life. I believe that this is the second deportation, although it is so creeping and slow,” Elin says.
In the movie, the viewer will see not only Jamala and hear the tragic story of her family, but also will be able to see how the parents of the singer live, the trials of the Crimean Tatars and what has the occupied Crimea become.
Among the film's heroes are also the leader of the Crimean Tatar people Mustafa Dzhemilev, lawyer Nikolai Polozov, civil activist Zair Smedlyayev, and Jamala’s parents.
Screenshots of the movie "Jamala’s Struggle".
The author of the film and the story has not left behind a member of the WCCT Executive Committee of the, a member of the regional Mejlis Ervin Ibragimov.
The director regrets that the boundaries of the television program did not allow her to tell more about the Crimean Tatars. Since Elin has collected a lot of material including an interviews with the Deputy Head of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people Ilmi Umerov, and with the relatives of the Crimean Tatars who are accused of membership in the organization Hizb ut-Tahrir which is banned in the territory of Russia.
The diplomats, people's deputies, civil activists, media representatives, as well as the main character of the film, Jamala, attended the presentation, organized at the support of the Swedish embassy and the CrimeanSOS public organization. Jamala, as before, thinks it is too early to make a film about her, but she is still pleased that due to her song about Ukraine, the situation in the country and the repressions on the part of the Russian Federation against the Crimean Tatars are recognized all over the world.
“When I watched this movie, I cried. Elin managed to show me not only as the singer who took part in the competition, but also the way I had to overcome to enter it and what really inspired my desire to win. For me, there is one very important point - there you will see an unrestrained thirst for victory, in spite of everything ... And one more thing - I was very worried how they [the film crew – Ed] would cross the border, but I did not worry about how they will be met by the Crimean Tatars,” Jamala noted.
The movie itself is quite short - only half an hour. The premiere took place in Sweden in early May 2017, just to coincide with Eurovision. Now the documentary is shown on television, and moreover - many schools in Sweden have included it to the school curriculum.
Now the director is looking for opportunities to show "Jamala’s Struggle" to as many Ukrainians as possible. However, this requires the permission of Swedish television, which retains copyright to the film.
According to the author of the film, Elin Jonsson, despite the difficult situation in the Crimea, she is not afraid to return to the peninsula and dreams of making a film about Crimean Tatar rappers in the near future.
Reference: Elin Jonsson, a native of Stockholm, is a well-known Swedish journalist. For many years Jonsson has been working as a specialist for SVT and Swedish radio in Russia and CIS countries. Elin Jonsson studied Russian in the high school and then first visited the Soviet Union in 1991 under the exchange program she was in Moscow during the August coup against Mikhail Gorbachev. In the 90's she returned to Russia for a long stay, and in 1996 became a specialist of the Swedish radio.
In 2005, on the order of Swedish Radio and SVT, Ms. Jonsson published a book on violence in Uzbekistan. In the same year, in collaboration with Magnus Gerthen, she directed a documentary about Kyrgyz migrant workers in Moscow - "Love at a Distance". She also covered in detail the war in Chechnya and its consequences in Russia.