French, Ukrainian, Russian, With English Subtitles
Olga is a teenage Ukrainian gymnast living in exile in Switzerland, dreaming of Olympic gold and trying to fit in with her new team. As the young girl prepares for the European Championships, the Euromaïdan revolt breaks out in Kyiv, suddenly involving everyone she cares about. Olga is left a powerless, distant bystander as her mother, an investigative journalist, faces danger.
Incorporating documentary footage from the 2013 uprising, Olga is a tense, sensitively handled tale of exile reflecting the clash between the personal and the political in a young woman’s search for identity. Starring gymnast Nastya Budiashkina as Olga, this outstanding feature film debut by director Elie Grappe won the prize for Best Screenplay at the 74th International Critics Week in Cannes. The film also won the Best Feature Film, the Best Screenplay and the Best Sound at the 2022 Swiss Film Awards and was Switzerland’s submission to the Academy Awards in 2022.
(JHB) Ster Kinekor - The Zone / Sun 16 - 17.00 / R80
(CPT) Labia Theatre / Sun 16 - 18.00 / R70
It’s a near perfect performance in an intensely myopic movie, a film that narrows our focus to what matters much as it does Olga’s, and lets its protagonist and star surprise us more than once along the way.
Roger Moore, Movie Nation
Elie Grape’s outstanding direction generates an atmosphere of tension and frustration to capture the psychological complexities of a teenage gymnast.
Ricardo Gallegos, La Estatuilla
Performs a delicate balancing act, blurring the line between coming-of-age drama, political commentary and sports film.
Rob Aldam, Backseat Mafia
Olga remains a defiant film. Defiant in its politics, defiant in its tenderness and humanity, and defiantly hopeful for the future. It is a film, quite literally, for this very moment.
Christopher Machell, CineVue
Director: Elie Grappe
Interviewer: Yolanda Mogatusi