Two years ago, I received an email from Kate. She had seen ANICCA – EMBRACING CHANGE and wanted to know if I'd be interested in getting the film translated into Russian. Sure, I replied. Any language would be great!
Back then, I assumed Kate is Russian. And I continued to think she's Russian until February of this year. During the pandemic, she helped organizing the translation, together with a friend of hers, Maria. The translation had to be done in a very precise and specific way as I wouldn't be able to check for mistakes, not even for correct positions. Anyway, it took longer than anticipated.
When the conflict in Ukraine escalated, I saw Kate posting on Social Media. She was in Odessa. Turns out she is actually Ukrainian. The last emails she sent to sort out the translation were written by her from the bomb shelter.
Her friend Maria, however, is from Russia. I don't know where she is now, I have only talked to her once very briefly.
Looking beyond war, to me and to many others, Kate's and Maria's collaboration represents sane normality. A woman from Russia and a woman from Ukraine, both speaking Russian, and both wanting to help that an inspiring documentary film about change becomes available to Russians and Ukrainians.
Then an armed conflict starts, and people are supposed to hate each other.