The Critical Media Lab was founded in fall of 2021 to provide scholarly, critical, and creative resources for faculty and students working in documentary arts and multimodal anthropology. Housed in McGill University’s Department of Anthropology, in Tio’tia:ke (Montreal), and part of the Leadership for the Ecozoic network, the CML offers practical workshops in video, film and sound, as well as screenings, artist talks and round-table discussions for members of the McGill community wishing to incorporate practice-based approaches into their teaching and research. With a teaching lab, screening room, and audiovisual equipment, the CML provides hands-on instruction in production and post-production. It exposes scholars and makers in a range of disciplines, to both the history of ethnographic film and the flourishing contemporary field of sensory ethnography. It is committed to fostering innovative pedagogical approaches and strategies for knowledge production and dissemination, and to supporting creative work that furthers equitable social, political and environmental change. 

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Special Screening 

Don’t Worry, The Doors Will Open (2021)
by Oksana Karpovych

with the support of

McGill Refugee Research Group

Thursday, April 7th
3475 Peel St.
, Tio’tia:ke
5:30-7:30 pm

Registration link

Shot on elektrychkas, typical Soviet commuter trains that travel between the Ukrainian capital Kyiv and small provincial towns, DON’T WORRY, THE DOORS WILL OPEN invites us to share a ride with working class, both passengers and vendors, immersing us in the daily struggles of their post-Soviet  lives. An atmospheric and human portrait of Ukrainian society on the move, the film offers an intimate point of view on the history of independent Ukraine as experienced by people. Although we do not see images of war, its presence is in the air; it is palpable. Despite the discomfort, the elektrychka is a space people love and trust because nothing can destroy this piece of Soviet iron.

Programmers’ notes:
Oksana’s film teaches us how to make our practices as filmmakers and witnesses more caring, compassionate and attentive. Very much with an ethnographic approach, her presence lends a warm ear and an observant eye, the kind of distance offered by a return home after some time away, picking up on what makes a People her own. Her documentary takes us on a long train ride in a liminal state—half-awake, half-asleep—through Ukrainian social fabric, drawing an intergenerational portrait of a state of longing; waiting for the economy to crash, for the war to start, or for the train to arrive. A tender portrait yet a powerful premonition of the heart wrenching and ongoing Russian war on Ukraine.

Oksana Karpovych is a film writer, director and photographer born in Kyiv (Ukraine), living and working in between Kyiv and Montreal (Quebec). In her personal projects, Karpovych explores everyday lives of the common people and how state politics invades the personal sphere and influences the communities she intimately documents. Karpovych is a Cultural Studies graduate of the “Kyiv- Mohyla Acdemy” National University in Ukraine and a Film Production graduate of Concordia University in Montreal. Her first feature documentary film Don’t Worry, the Doors Will Open won New Visions Award at the 2019 RIDM Festival in Montreal and received an honorable mention in the Emerging Canadian Filmmaker category at the 2020 Hot Docs International Documentary Film Festival. Her filmography also includes Lost (2015) and Temporary (2017).

Written & Directed by: Oksana Karpovych
Produced by: Ina Fichman, Judith Plamondon
Cinematographer: Christopher Nunn
Editors: Lessandro Socrates, Dominique Sicotte
Sound design: Simon Gervais
Sound recording: Andre Smyelov
Sound mix: Olivier Germain
Color Grading: Victor Ghizaru
Additional camera: Pavlo Oleksiienko
Fixer (Ukraine): Natalya Tsehelnyk
Video Post-Production: Chop Chop
Audio Post-Production: Bande à part

Funds will be donated to the following charities:

We also invite attendees to support this fundraiser led by McGill Student, Ivanna Marchenko, providing essential help at the border:

This is a special free screening to raise funds for Ukraine. We invite the audience to contribute to these charities if they can or to share within their networks if they wish.