Docpoint – Helsinki Documentary Film Festival


Fragile Memory

Written and directed by Igor Ivanko, co-written by Mariia Ponomarova, young filmmaker Igor finds a hidden and unpublished photo archive of his grandfather Leonid Burlaka, a famous Soviet cinematographer. Discovering a man that he never knew well enough through the damaged pictures, he gets closer to his grandpa suffering with dementia, facing the tension between memory and forgetting.

This film does not follow your average route of exploring the lost moments of a filmmaker, instead it follows a path of celebrating memories of a beloved family member before they are lost. Fragile Memory is bathed in a tone of admiration, Igor Ivanko clearly shows his respect for his grandfather, and his achievements, and a desire to learn as much as he can while he has the chance. The style he chooses to explore these moments of the past is one that’s very natural and off the cuff, capturing candid moments. 

Rebecca Cherry, Film Carnage

The once active cinematographer and vibrant mind Leonid Burlaka, or as his family and friends endearingly call him Lyonya, is now in his early 80s and finds comfort in quieter moments of life as Alzheimer’s slowly erodes his ability to remember. Struggling to come to terms with his withering memory, his grandson, Ukrainian filmmaker Igor Ivanko sets out on a quest to learn about his grandfather in an intimate author-driven documentary Fragile Memory, screened in the international competition of this year’s Krakow Film Festival and DocAviv.

Sevara Pan, Modern Times Review

Language: Ukrainian, Russian, Polish
Subtitles: English
Length: 85 min
Age Limit: S
Year: 2022
Production Country: Ukraine, Slovakia

Director: Igor Ivanko
Producer: Igor Ivanko, Mariia Ponomarova, Alexandra Bratyshchenko, Peter Kerekes
Production Company: Burlaka Films, Peter Kerekes Ltd. was
Distribution Company: filmdelights
Editing: Igor Kosenko
Cinematographer: Igor Ivanko, Illia Yehorov
Music: Marek Piaček
Sound Design: Karina Rezhevska