Romani Dream, a film about the Transcarpathian Romas who achieved success and are an example to follow for everyone around, opened the 10th Itinerant Human Rights Documentary Festival Docudays UA in Donetsk oblast. This year, a penal colony in Makiivka was the first to host the festival on October 16.
The activists from the Memorial group are convinced that it is possible to significantly reduce the percentage of crime recurrence with the help of quality documentary cinematography, in which successful life examples are shown. Documentaries have powerful visual tools and often demonstrate a different, crime-free method of solving a complicated life situation, in which people found themselves before ending up in prisons or may end up after they are released.
“Such documentaries give the inmates an example of faith in their own abilities, because there often are many more obstacles in normal life than behind the bars,” said Ruslan Malamush, one of the prisoners of Colony No. 97, sharing his impressions on the film.
It is planned to show five or six documentaries in all 20 correctional facilities of Donetsk oblast during the month. Moreover, the creation of a number of film clubs is planned, which will screen both documentary and educational films. A joint initiative of Donetsk Memorial and the organization committee of the Itinerant Film Festival found support among the heads of the state penitentiary service of the oblast. However, it would be wrong to say that documentary films find a way to the heart of each and every prisoner. “There are such people among the inmates who will not come back here after receiving support while serving their sentence, including support in the form of documentaries. On the other hand, there are those who will end up behind bars again, if they get no such support,” says Oleksandr Bukalov, head of Donetsk Memorial.