Veselka: The Rainbow on the Corner at the Center of the World movie review (2024)
Movie Reviews

Veselka: The Rainbow on the Corner at the Center of the World movie review (2024)

Over the course of filming the deeply compassionate “Veselka: The Rainbow on the Corner at the Center of the World,” the War in Ukraine broke out, giving the piece a different kind of scope and emotional power. Like the title that goes on a bit longer than it needs to, the filmmakers here have a habit of underlining and emphasizing elements of their story that would have been more powerful without a more subtle approach. But this is still a remarkably moving piece of work, a documentary that understands that a diner can’t save your life, but that doesn’t make it any less essential to it.

“Veselka” feels like a pretty straightforward historical doc at first, detailing the lineage behind the East Village staple. Like a lot of films like this, Michael Fiore’s direction could almost serve as a tourism bureau piece to get people to come to NYC. Let’s just say if I was less than a hundred miles away from Veselka, I would be eating dinner there tonight. It just seems like a lovely, warm, inviting place. It will make you want a pierogi. (Borscht might be a tougher sell.)

Fiore starts with Jason Birchard, the founder’s grandson, and unpacks the history of the establishment’s deep Ukrainian roots. Then, the war starts. Fiore smartly captures the notion that people often have to work through trauma, even if it’s happening on the other side of the world. We hear from one cook who talks about people he’s lost in the early days of the war. Still, he has to get up and go to work. War impacts people around the world who can’t stop to manage their trauma or even consider what they may be losing.

This is exemplified most in the film’s back half, which focuses on the story of Vitalii. A manager at Veselka, he’s trying to get his mother out of Ukraine to Poland and participating in outreach/charity programs while he does so. The filmmakers capture how these efforts, while valuable, can be a bit transitory. They feel good at the moment, and they certainly raise important awareness, but they don’t get Vitalii’s mom across the border. A charity baseball game serves as a nice distraction, but it doesn’t replace the fear and the displacement. 

Source link

Leave feedback about this

  • Quality
  • Price
  • Service


Add Field


Add Field
Choose Image
Choose Video