Mark Your Calendar: Pre-Christmas Events
By Paul Miazga
I had a conversation on Monday evening with an Italian friend of mine here in town. We were both attending a reception at the home of well-known Ukrainian author Andrey Kurkov for local artist Sergiy Prin. While the evening itself was entirely pleasant, my friend and I wondered about the coming weekend and what there would be to do. A few hours later, after I'd gone home from the reception, I had several answers.
First, beginning at 8:30 pm tonight in Podil at Zhovten cinema (www.zhovten-kino.kiev.ua; 417-2702 to reserve tickets) will be the annual Globalization Film Festival. This annual but little publicized festival offers moviegoers a wealth of films that attempt to inspire as much as to educate about threats to democracy, the environment and human rights.
The festival will begin with a screening of “The Yes Men,” a multiple award-winning satire about how two men are able to create a fake website promoting the World Trade Organization and are flown across the world to rant about the dangers of anti-globalization protests – and where most of the people listening to them speak have no idea they are the butt of the joke.
“The Yes Men,” along with “The Fourth World War” – a look at the ongoing conflicts around the world and how they collectively represent what the title suggests – and other movies will show most evenings at Zhovten until Dec. 20. Tickets range in price from Hr 16 to Hr 25. A must for fans of alternative cinema.
Roger Waters for real?
Earlier this summer a massive scam had it that Roger Waters was going to put in an unscheduled stop in Kyiv as part of his European tour and play Olympic Stadium. Just days before the concert was to have taken place, and with my future father-in-law Sergiy already in possession of train tickets to come to the capital for the show, word finally got out that the legendary Pink Floyd co-founder had no such plans. Many people were duped, and although Sergiy wasn’t one of them, it really left a bad taste in my mouth.
Now, six months later, Waters actually is coming to Kyiv, as part of worldwide “Ca Ira” (That Will Be”) tour; the concert is set for 7 pm on Dec. 16 at the massive International Exhibition Center near Livoberezhna metro station. Tickets are already on sale and go for Hr 100 to Hr 1,700.
Roger Waters and Pink Floyd need no introduction here, but Waters merits special attention due to the fact that he has long inspired fans in this part of the world, Sergiy being one of many fans who managed to obtain bootleg copies of Pink Floyd during Soviet times. What makes this fact even more impressive is that the bootlegged copies weren’t on cassettes or even old 8-track tapes but on old magnetic tape, those big old rolls that were part of every 1960s hi-fi system – not so easy to smuggle.
For his sake, I hope he agrees to return to Kyiv once more for the concert – and that Waters fans find some redemption after having their hearts broken back in July.
Charitable giving on the rise
Credit definitely goes out to Kyiv ex-pats, who are often maligned for being aloof, self-serving and patronizing. By force of effort and will, this community of diplomats, corporate representatives and venture capitalists have started a tradition on the first weekend of December, and now the weekend is given out to two charitable events: the Viennese Ball at Kyiv City Hall on Friday night, the International Women’s Club of Kyiv charity bazaar on Saturday and the Kyiv Lion’s Club President’s Charity Ball Saturday evening.
It seems half of the city’s upper crust attended the Viennese Ball on Friday, which I missed, but my girlfriend and I attended the mob scene of the IWCK bazaar during the day on Saturday and found nice gift ideas and things to eat as always, then later lucked out, gifted by a friend with two tickets to the black tie Lion’s Club event at the Radisson SAS.
I’m not going to get too much into what either entailed, though the former certainly involved more dancing and a true mingling of society elites while the latter represented an old boys’ club of sorts. The bottom line is that the adage “build it and they will come” certainly has appealed to Ukrainians, who seem to be developing a certain fondness for charitable giving. The Lion’s Club dinner, for example, raised more than $17,000 for local charities and more than $100,000 for the year – about what IWCK typically raises in a year as well – and also all for local charities!
As further proof this is catching on, Kyiv’s Financial Analysts Association – a growing bunch in numbers and influence – have organized their very own charity holiday ball, set for 8 pm on Wednesday, Dec. 13 at Music Club 112 (in the Arena City complex). The expected donation to attend is just Hr 100 and includes drinks. Money raised at this ball will go to benefit the Komarivka orphanage in Chernihiv region. For more information, email KPolyakova@alfacapital.com.ua.