Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

“An opportunity to cooperate and live in peace”

Students from several continents made a clip in the Carpathian valley Polonyna Runa
6 March, 2018 - 11:00
Photo courtesy of filming participants

This video of vital social importance has won record-breaking popularity. It was viewed over 60,000 times on YouTube in three days. Students from Zimbabwe, the Maldives, India, and Ukraine took part in making the clip “Angels Can’t Fly” (https:// www.youtube.com/ watch?v=RGQ67xzrWr4). “Back in Luhansk, I began to work as photographer and video cameraman because I had had art skills and interest in this since I was a child. I’ve never studied at cinema schools or learned from film specialists. I learned all I know from YouTube channels and online books. I’ve been training a lot, making all kinds of video works, such as wedding photographs and videos, music videos, and short films for my friends – all that was an interesting challenge for me,” Arun MOHAN told The Day.

The clip “Angels Can’t Fly” was the first video that drew a wide response. Arun confesses he did not expect such a result which he believes was possible because everybody involved in the making of the clip was putting their heart and soul into this work.

“Our song is special, for almost all of those who took part in it are Uzhhorod University’s medical students. It was written and sung by Gabriel Anaman, a student from Zimbabwe, together with Fathmath Shifna, his group mate from the Maldives. Gabriel has written very many interesting songs, but this one struck a chord with me two years ago. But I didn’t have sufficient equipment to make a clip at the time. I nursed this subject for a long time and wanted it to fit in with the song’s content. I wanted to make it clear that angels are not strange creatures – they in fact live among us and become apparent through the good actions of people, even when we don’t expect this. We can see in the clip that a homeless man in fact rescues a girl from a gang, finding somebody with a cell phone on the street and calling the police. We forget sometimes that everybody in this world, even the scum of society, has a heart,” Mohan commented.

Another goal the author set himself is to show how talented foreign students are. Sadly enough, there are a lot of racist-minded people in Uzhhorod, who think foreigners are contagious and savage. There are many other wrong stereotypes.

“There are just different people, like in any other country. Some of them pose a problem because they don’t know this country and grew up in a totally different culture. We should pay special attention to first-year students and show them our own example of integrating and cooperating with Ukrainians. Many of my Uzhhorod friends helped me very much to make the clip. They acted free of charge, just for the idea’s sake. I hope this clip will help ordinary Transcarpathians see that foreign students are not a threat but an opportunity to get acquainted with a different culture, to cooperate and live in peace,” Arun said.

The shooting was done in October. They chose the picturesque Polonyna Runa mountain valley in the Carpathians for landscape filming, and some of the scenes were also filmed in various areas of Uzhhorod. “I did all of the video work. I dealt with the idea, filming, and editing. A lot of technical personnel usually take part in making professional films. It was very difficult for me even to find transport to take us to the valley. My friend Arsen Bilanyn helped me, and we did all this on an ordinary car, even though we had to push it several times. My friends helped me arrange the lighting, find video locations, and carry various heavy objects. We had no sponsors and were doing everything by ourselves, at our own modest expense. The poor Yulia Bezhynets, also a medical student, who played the role of a singer angel, got frozen during the filming. All of those who filmed in this clip are my friends who just believed in me and spared neither their time nor their effort,” the author said, sharing his impression of the filming.

Arun Mohan is grateful to all those who helped make the clip, especially to Gabriel Anaman, Fathmath Shifna, Khrystyna Shubelka, Mykola Kovach, Myroslav Hondorchyn, Sarit Svirnas, Yurii Firtsak, Mykola Udut, Mykhailo Zvirych, Yevhen Shchobak, Yulia Bezhynets, Tania Tymkovych, Arsen Bilanyn, Mykhailo Bytlianyn, and Gary Krishnan. He is convinced that the project would have been impossible without this closely-knit team.

By Viktoria ZHUIKO, Uzhhorod