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Ashes settling in layers on the surface

A documentary film project in development stage

70 minutes

Based on diaries and photographs found in the houses destroyed in Mariupol during the Russian war against Ukraine, the film tells a story of building and self-destruction of a totalitarian system.

Through examination, piece by piece, of ruins and family possessions in the houses destroyed by Russian shelling in Mariupol nowadays, the film captures construction and destruction of a totalitarian system with the stories of Mariupol families who rebuilt the city several times within a hundred years. The regime got implemented at the same time as the restoration of the Azovstal plant, where the director's grandfather was relocated under the threat of execution in 1944 of WWII. Accompanied by coercion, threats and propaganda, people were building two machines of death – a totalitarian system and a metallurgical giant. Since, these machines have been working like crematoriums, using people as fuel, and producing dust and soot. And now, Azovstal is fully destroyed by the army of the same totalitarian system.


director: Zoya Laktionova

producer: Natalia Libet

Supported by
2022 - Netflix and Ukrainian Film Academy - development

2022 - IDFA Bertha Fund - development

2021 - Ukrainian Cultural Foundation (UСF) - director's research

2021 - The project has been selected for Ji.hlava New Visions Market, Jihlava (Czech)

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