Originally released in 2020, the third documentary feature film by filmmaker Alina Gorlova arrives in Spanish commercial theaters at a tremendously critical moment for the reality to be narrated in her film, ‘This rain will never stop’, screened at the Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival and tells the story of the young man Andrei Suleimanthe son of a Kurdish father and a Ukrainian mother, who fled the Syrian War when he was just 15 years old and had to face the War in Ukraine in the Donbas region in 2014made the latter topical after Russia’s invasion of the country ruled by Volodímir Zelenski.
Gorlova focuses her film on the Suleiman family, a native of Syria, of Kurdish origin and whose members fled when the civil conflict broke out in the Middle Eastern country in 2011. The protagonist is Andriy, son of the clan’s patriarch, Lazgin, who is mixed-race being his Ukrainian mother. The film briefly narrates the flight of Andriy, his brothers and his parents to the Eastern European country and how they settled in the city, located in the Lugansk oblast, and how the war found them again due to the Russian invasion.
In a certain way, the scenes shot in the Donbás bring to mind not only the film ‘Donbass’ by Sergei Loznitsa, but also the current situation in Ukraine after the cruel invasion led by Putin and of which images have been seen that freeze the blood. The sequences remind us that the situation in 2014 was a warning and that makes the film topical. Also, remember that Ukraine was also a host country for refugees, showing the reality of one of them and how he decided to sacrifice his own personal and professional desires to enroll as a volunteer in the Red Cross.
A feature film full of humanity that gives a voice to the victims, as well as those anonymous heroes who offer a light of hope
Gorlova’s feature film brims with humanity, a young man’s desire to offer a friendly gaze even in the most hostile moments. It is also the chronicle of a lament and a loss, as the film portrays the drama of the families who were forced to leave and places special emphasis on the exceptional situation of the Kurdish people, stateless by nature and hated wherever they go. Divided into ten chapters, the documentary succeeds in showing these situations in a careful black and white made by Viacheslav Tsvietkov, cinematographer of the film. Gorlova, who signs the film’s script together with Maksim Nakonechnyi, knows how to combine dramatic scenes, such as those in the refugee camps, with others that show brief and ephemeral moments of joy, as well as succeeding with scenes that show sad wastelands that evoke the absence of the victims.
‘This rain will never stop’ was a Ukrainian director’s tribute to Syrian refugees and a letter of welcome. Sadly, he remembers that it is now his country that is also in that condition, which serves to remind us of the importance of personal stories, to give voice to these people and thus give a humanistic look to the cinema and that is where the documentary usually shows its best face. A film that reaches the soul.
The best: His careful black and white photography.
Worst: To think that your topic is current because of the War in Ukraine.