When war cancels movie screenings

How I went to see Poor Things and couldn’t

Anton Kutselyk

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This is my drawing.

I woke up at 9:30. I didn’t have time for breakfast. I barely had enough time for a shower. At 11:30, my friend and I agreed to see Poor Things in one of Kyiv’s shopping malls. It’s one hour to get there. The movie goes on for two and a half hours. One hour to get back. It’s almost a full working day errand so I took a day off. I dedicated the day to just that: going to a cinema with a friend.

I arrived at the cinema theatre earlier than my friend. It turned out later that he was waiting for me at a metro station because that’s where we agreed to meet. It was a hectic morning. I was unfocused. I felt stupid. I had to wait for him now to hurry up and get to me before the movie started.

While waiting, I bought cheesy puffed potatoes and popcorn with a weird taste: mulled wine and cinnamon. Both tasted good. Soon, my friend came. We hugged. We approached the third viewing hall. He showed our tickets to the ticket lady. The hall was dark; movie trailers were already playing. We found our seats. It was comfy. The spark of excitement started growing in me. Poor Things is probably the only movie from last year that I’d been genuinely waiting to see.

Yes, here I finally was, sitting with a person I like being around, diving my hand in a tasty popcorn, and waiting for trailers to end and the movie to begin.

How could I forget that this could happen?

As soon as the first frame of the movie comes out on the screen, the air raid alert goes off. The movie is cancelled. The audience is rushed to leave the theatre and go to the nearest shelter. We go to the street, carrying bags of popcorn and puffed potatoes, and go to the nearest metro station.

I try to feed and pacify my anger with snacks — it belches back with fiery comments.

It’s so stupid.

Welcome to the war.

War is a losing experience: the longer it lasts, the more you lose.

Some people lose their lives. Most of them die at the frontline. Others die under shelling and missile strikes. All of us who live in Ukraine are under the increased danger of dying from causes that aren’t typical for civilian life.

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Anton Kutselyk

I live in Kyiv and write about everything I see around