Remember the Smell of Mariupol

Screening on the occasion of 24 February

Zoya Laktionova: Remember the Smell of Mariupol, 2022. Film still

A collaboration between Office Ukraine Innsbruck and Leokino

In Remember the Smell of Mariupol (2022), Mariupol-born filmmaker Zoya Laktionova recounts her experiences since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. The film was created in 2022 in the context of an artist residency in Feldkirch, Vorarlberg. During her temporary stay in Austria, the displaced filmmaker found herself in two contrasting realities. In one world, war destroys the city of her childhood; in the other, she is surrounded by peaceful tranquility. But at some point, each landscape begins to resemble home. Laktionova’s documentary essay intertwines two unexpectedly similar landscapes – the surroundings of Mariupol and Feldkirch – thus creating a fragile space where the two realities meet. For her video work, Laktionova draws on photos from her family archive and texts she wrote during the first weeks of the war.

The short film will be shown on 24 February 2023 in Leokino and Cinematograph (Innsbruck) before each scheduled screening. At 18.00, before the screening of Signs of War, a collaboration between the Centre for Eastern European Studies and Leokino, Zoya Laktionova will join us online for a short Q&A session in Leokino.

Zoya LAKTIONOVA (b. 1984, Mariupol, Ukraine) first appeared in the world of documentary cinema as a character in the film Ma in 2017; one year later she made her first short documentary Diorama about the mined sea at the Mariupol area. The film has been shown at numerous European film festivals (DOKLeipzig, Ji.Hlava, Cottbus etc.). In 2021, Zoya premiered her new short Territory of Empty Windows about the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war in 2014 and the ecologic crisis in her hometown Mariupol at DocuDays UA (International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival). The film was shown at Molodist IFF in Kyiv, received a special award from the Ji.Hlava Festival at the Obirok 2021 Festival, and the main award at the documentary competition of the French-Ukrainian Festival MIST 2021. Before the start of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, Zoya lived in Kyiv and worked as an independent artist and documentary filmmaker. In her films, she touches on issues of war, memory, and personal stories. At the moment, she is working on her first feature film Ashes Settling in Layers on the Surface. Based on diaries and photographs found in the houses that were destroyed in Mariupol during the Russian war against Ukraine, the film tells the story of the rise and self-destruction of a totalitarian system.


Leokino, Anichstraße 36, 6020 Innsbruck

Cinematograph, Museumstraße 31, 6020 Innsbruck