Friday, November 20, 2009

Lost in, really.

Despite my near-Asperger's level of social skills, I managed to make friends with (or at least, be befriended by) a Ukrainian girl named Natalie. Half the women in this country are named Natalie, and they are also called Natasha, Nastia, Natalia, Natalie, Nata, and so on. Russians/Ukrainians LOVE the nicknames, let me tell you. That also explains why it's so difficult to keep all the characters straight in their literature. Anyway, Natalie invited me to see a movie for some sort of festival, and that's all the information I could extract beforehand. Camille came with us, and the three of us made our way to a large auditorium in some sort of building for film festivals/cinematography stuff. Natalie speaks almost perfect English, but it still took my awhile to figure out exactly what was going on. It turns out, we were attending the movie part of a Spanish festival, which was why we weren't in a regular movie theater. It was called "El Milagro de Candeal," and had the most beautiful soundtrack. It's a Brazilian movie, so the voices were in Portuguese, with Spanish subtitles, Ukrainian subtitles under those, with Natalie whispering English translations to us. Count: four languages for one movie. I couldn't hear Natalie very well, so I had to use my limited Spanish to figure out what was going on. Considering that I slept through two years of Spanish classes in high school, I think I understood a pretty decent amount. The movie itself wasn't fantastic, but it was about music, so the soundtrack was more than redeeming. If that wasn't enough, the sheer novelty of four languages was enough to make me giddy.

After the movie, Natalie told me that she worked in that building for two years, doing film festivals and stuff. She didn't study anything like that in school, but now she is the assistant producer of a documentary. I mentioned to her, in passing, that I was interested, so a week later she called me up and invited me to a meeting about it. I thought it was going to be some big meeting where I could sit silently and observe, fly-on-the-wall style. No such luck. There were only six other people, and they handed me a set of notes to study. Two of the guys there were professional movie makers, one just finished shooting a music video that just started playing on tv. Natalie introduced me, "This is Alena. She is from the States. She has an eye for photography." My confidence doesn't measure up to that kind of introduction, and the whole meeting was pretty intimidating. The guys actually in charge of the movie are from LA, due to fly in a few days later. Natalie asked me if I could spend Tuesday hanging around with her and them, an American to help make them more comfortable in Ukraine, and hopefully contribute some ideas to the movie. The working title, according to the notes, is "Little Chernobyl," and it's supposed to examine the effects of the disaster on Ukraine and Belarus's children. Woah.

Tuesday came and went with no call from Natalie. On Wednesday evening she called me, somewhat hurt that I didn't come to whatever pub that afternoon for a meeting. Uh...what? I haven't heard from her since.

1 comment:

  1. That was a lovely song. Made me homesick for Brazil. (Yes, I could even understand the words.)


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