Archive of films Dust / Dust

France / United Kingdom / Ukraine
2001, 29 min

Section: East of the West
Year: 2002

Set against a backdrop of dilapidated streets and houses, a poetic documentary captures the memories of the old Jewish inhabitants of Moldovanka, a district in Odessa by the Black Sea. This urban district is dying, just like the people who remember “better times” in the local Jewish community, scattered by the tragic events of last century.


This poetic documentary by a young Israeli filmmaker was inspired by Isaak Babel’s Odessa Tales, which describe the colourful life of the Jewish community in this famous port on the Black Sea. Today, the streets in the Moldovanka district are deserted and the houses are in a pitiable state of repair, but these cheerless flats are still occupied by people who remember a bygone era. They leaf through yellowing albums, remembering a family existence marked by war, Bolshevism and Nazism. The old woman Ester and her friend, who is rumoured in the neighbourhood to be a witch, are not afraid to sing and dance in front of the camera. Another friend of Ester, Tanya, has become entangled in Communist ideology. Tanya’s nephew Valery Krivoruchka boasts in his junk-filled flat that he used to be an opera singer, although his living is more dependent now on what he can lay his hands on and later sell. Ester also makes a trip out of the city to show the filmmakers the place where the family used to live, near an orthodox church. All that remains is a neglected Jewish cemetery and a destroyed synagogue. But time seems to have stood still out here in the countryside, while Odessa grows old, like its few remaining Jewish inhabitants....

About the director

Michale Boganim was born in Israel, but lived in France with her parents from her childhood days. She took a course in politics at the Sorbonne in Paris, continuing her studies at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She worked for several production companies as an assistant director and producer of documentary and feature films. She acquired her specialist film education at INSAS in Belgium and subsequently at the National Film and Television School (NFTS) in London (1999-2001). She is currently working in France. Dust (2001) is her graduate film, shown at a number of international festivals; it also won the award for Best Short Documentary at the Leeds IFF. She has also made the short films La douleur (1999), Shema (1999), The Factory (1999), The Lonely Sea and Sky (1999), C´est pour bientôt (2OOO), Venice (2OOl) and Memoires incertaines (2OO2).

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: East of the West
Director: Michale Boganim
Screenplay: Michale Boganim
Dir. of Photography: Jakob Ihre
Music: Quentin Thomas, the Odessa Music Klezmer
Editor: Valerio Bonelli
Producer: Michale Boganim
Production: Sarafilms, koprodukce/co-production: National Film and TV School

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