Letters of Love and War
Original title: Lettres d’amour et de guerre
presented by Doan Bui
The document on the war in Ukraine that will travel the world.
To write to understand each other
Doan Bui, a senior reporter at L’Obs, winner of the Albert- Londres Prize, met Viktoriya in Paris and Pavlo in Kyiv during one of her missions. She asked them if they would be willing to share their daily lives, that of a family separated by war. It was supposed to be just a few texts, one letter a week… And then both of them began to write to each other, at an intense pace. Very beautiful, very strong texts that Doan Bui received in her inbox. Translated from Ukrainian by one or the other, very often even written directly in English, this language so natural for the Maidan generation – that of the Maidan protests, or Revolution of Dignity, which took place in 2014 – which has known only an independent Ukraine, a generation raised on globalization, which has lived in different countries and grew up with Hollywood movies rather than Soviet ones. War is always told through the eyes of men, and soldiers, in their tête-à-tête with death. However, the war is also the war of all the Andromaches, who wait, worry, and cry in front of a zinc coffin or must rebuild their lives in exile with children and a few suitcases.
It begins at a strange moment, more than a year after the start of the war. As it drags on and continues to mow down an entire generation of Ukrainians ruthlessly – 80% of families have already lost a loved one, friend or family… Viktoriya doesn’t understand why Pavlo doesn’t leave the front after a year, to benefit from the succession. Pavlo feels torn apart. These are exceptional and poignant documents, a raw and intimate testimony that plunges us into the Ukrainian soul. This correspondence is like a braided thread of words that manages to abolish distance and separation. Because yes, these letters speak of violence, mourning, and sorrow of wars, but not only. In these messages, it is also and above all a question of love.
I get a lot of pleasure from our correspondence. This is truly the essence long-lost in short text messages. Tons of short texts about nothing. Here, in the letters, words have ten times more weight. And when I say I love you in a letter, it’s like a text message repeated a hundred times. (…)
At the beginning of the war, I started taking notes for my next novel about the conflict between the feelings to a beloved woman and homeland, about discovering oneself as an effective part of history. And now – this plot is not crystal clear to me at all. I just think about it a lot and take notes. But correspondence with you is like a writing balm. This is another happiness during the war.”
- English translation available
- An exceptional document on the war in Ukraine, which will benefit from an international release.
- The authors speak English and Pavlo has now left the Army, guaranteeing an exceptional media plan.
- Texts by writers, where the intimate meets History, which allow everyone to identify.