Do You Love Me? + Talk

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A young girl steps out of adolescence as her motherland steps into independence.
Part of Kyiv Critics’ Week x De Balie

Tonia Noyabrova
Running time
Ukraine, Sweden
Ukrainian, Russian
Year of production
Program maker
Stefan Malešević
Stefan Malešević
In collaboration with
Kyiv Critics’ Week

What at first glance seems like another 90s coming-of-age story about a young woman facing her parents’ painful divorce, is placed against the authentic backdrop of the collapse of the Soviet Union, when Ukraine was going through the equally painful process of becoming an independent country. The film was screened at Berlinale 2023 in Panorama section.

This screening is presented as part of the KCW x De Balie collaboration, taking place from May 17th to May 21st. Under the banner of “Double Exposure: Ukraine in the 90s“, we will showcase films that were either shot in 90s Ukraine or depict this period of national awakening. Each screening will be followed by a conversation between one of the KCW curators and a Dutch film critic, while the closing event features a live music performance. See the full program and get your tickets for other events here.

Info about speakers

Hanna Datsiuk is a Ukrainian film critic, co-curator of Kyiv Critics’ Week, lecturer of the course on cinema at the Cultural Project, and curator of the cinema hall at the SWEET.TV online platform.

Fabian Melchers is a Dutch journalist who writes about movies and culture for media such as De Telegraaf and

Hanna Datsiuk’s introduction of the film

“Through this intimate story of a teenage girl named Kira, the collapse of the Soviet Union is depicted as a period of great opportunities and profound crisis. Her carefree youth abruptly ends amidst a family drama, serving as a metaphor for a country gaining independence through struggle and liberalization, yet with a sense of lost security. Young Kira, losing her safety net due to her parents’ divorce, embarks on the path of inevitable transition, grappling with the question: “Do you love me?”—or, in fact, “Does anyone love me?” Inspired heavily by director Tonya Noyabrova’s own childhood, “Do You Love Me?” is a tender coming-of-age story and a portrait of Ukraine’s first independent generation.
“Do you Love Me?” appeared to be one of the most relatable reflections on teenage years in cinema for me, as I am myself a child of a 90s. With all the variety of coming of age stories, and with the best of examples, that truly blur the line between national identity or time frame, manifesting teenage experience as the one that can be universally resonated with, this film unexpectedly felt much needed by me. It marked a new inspiring chapter for young ukrainian cinema, adult enough to go back and reflect.”

KCW x De Balie collaboration was made possible with the financial contributions of Steunfonds Oekraïense makersDutch Foundation for Literature and Embassy of Ukraine in the Kingdom of The Netherlands.


Hanna DatsiukUkrainian film critic
Fabian MelchersDutch film critic