Mariupol was one of the cities that Putin targeted in 2015 during one of the recent times when his avarice put his country, Russia, at war with the Ukraine. Director Mantas Kvedaravicius was there to document that war, with that city’s residents trying to make the Russian bombings part of their normal routine with his documentary Mariupolis. War still rages a few years later and Kvedaravicius was there to document what he could. He was unable to smuggle the footage out of the Ukraine, dying under Russian hands as he left for the border. His girlfriend eventually smuggled the footage comprising what is now Mariupolis 2, a daily contemplation on how the industrial hub is now a city with barren trees and houses where no families live.
Russia is a ghost that Kvedaravicius tries to depict through his audio, as he captures the bombs and bullets that Putin’s troops use to terrorize the few people too stubborn to leave. Mariupol’s skyline prominently appears in the footage, one of many repetitive visuals that mark this as raw footage as opposed to something with a shape. The editing at least breaks from its usual patterns. These views are possible as he camps with a few residents in the city’s Baptist church. Mariupolis 2 sometimes follows the leadership in that church as they warn the refugees that they might also have to leave the church. And when it goes back out in the street, it lets viewers contemplate what humanity loses because of greedy wars.