Politically Motivated Hate Crimes….: Our TIFF 2022 Review of ‘Victim’ (Obet)

Posted in TIFF 2022 by - September 12, 2022
Politically Motivated Hate Crimes….: Our TIFF 2022 Review of ‘Victim’ (Obet)

There are certain movies that deal with political issues and ideology that are just plain uncomfortable to watch unfold. In Michal Blasko’s Victim, that is exactly what happens. That’s especially true with the current political climate of everything happening in the Ukraine and everything going on in the world. Victim doesn’t hold back its punches to create this tense drama, but Blasko also has no intention of making a straight political hellfire of a film thankfully.

The film focuses on Irina played by Vita Smachelyuk, as she is a Ukrainian immigrant who is currently living in Czech bordering town. She is currently back in the Ukraine to collect some documents to obtain permanent citizenship. She left her son, Igor played by Gleb Kuchuk, back home, who she is later told sustained some injuries. Igor tells the police that his attackers are of Roma descent, essentially targeting him due to prejudice and racism. But as his story gets fleshed out and told repeatedly there seems to be holes throughout his story.

This trajectory leads to a plethora of uncomfortable situations for the audience. The racism, while prevalent in the real world as well, is prominent throughout the film and certainly makes people uncomfortable and uneasy. However, the performances from both Vita Smachelyuk and Gleb Kuchuk are incredibly heartbreaking. So much so that it makes Victim a much more powerful and harder watch than ever anticipated.

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My earliest movie memory, outside of my home theatre in my basement, was going to the local Video 99 and wanting to rent ET only to be told by the shop owner it was playing down the street in theatres. My love for cinema has been alive for as long as I can honestly remember. I would frequent the cinema minutes down from my house daily. It was a second home. Movies are an escape from the everyday world, a window into the soul, a distant friend. If I’m not watching a movie, I’m probably watching a tv show, if I’m doing neither I’m asleep. Feel free to interact me at @Dubsreviews
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