About past, present and future of Ukraine

Search mobile

Main Culture — "Numbers" by Oleg Sentsov will be shown in Odessa


"Numbers" by Oleg Sentsov will be shown in Odessa

16 Nov, 2020
"Numbers" by Oleg Sentsov will be shown in Odessa

Share this article

The actors themselves will present Oleg Sentsov's film "Numbers" in Odessa on November 17.

On November 17, at 19:00, in Odessa a pre-premiere screening of the ironic dystopia "Numbers" based on the play by Oleg Sentsov, the most famous political prisoner in the world. In the "Cinema City" the guests of the show will be the members of the film crew, actors Oleksandr Begma and Oleg Karpenko, who will personally present the movie and answer the audience's questions.

The film is based on the play "Numbers", which Oleg Sentsov wrote before his imprisonment, in 2011. The final revision was made in the Lefortovo remand prison in Moscow. In 2018, a performance was staged, on which the production director Tamara Trunova and the production designer Yuri Larionov worked. The premiere took place on Stage 6 at the Dovzhenko Center and was sold out.

odessajournal 0

The first presentation of the project of a full-length movie based on the play took place in 2018 as part of the pitching of the Odessa International Festival, where producer Anna Palenchuk presented Oleg's letter about his intention to participate in the production of the film from the prison. A tandem of two directors worked on the movie - Oleg Sentsov (who was in a penal colony in Russia during the filming of the film), and Akhtem Seitablaev, who helped implement the idea on the set together with the film's producer Anna Palenchuk. During the development of the movie Oleg Sentsov went on a hunger strike that lasted 145 days.

odessajournal 1
Behind bars in a Northern Siberia penal colony, in 2018 Sentsov went on a hunger strike in 2018 demanding the release of Ukrainian political prisoners

I always knew I’d be freed. I never doubted such a happy end to my fate. I simply tried not to waste my time in prison: Books, short stories, screenplays, and when there was an idea – to carry out filming of my play, I started participating in it as a co-director. Obviously, there was hope that I would be freed by the beginning of the shoot, but it didn’t happen.

Oleg Sentsov

The world premiere of the "Numbers" took place in February 2020 as part of the Berlinale’s 70th anniversary celebrations with the participation of the creative team. The movie received positive reviews from the guests of honor and critics, who especially noted the talented acting and the frightening prophetic relevance of the movie's events in the modern world.

The film is a co-production of Ukraine (435 FILMS with the support of the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine), Poland (Apple Film Production with the support of the Polish Film Institute), Czech Republic (Česká Televize) and France (Canal +).


The world as an absurdly abstract one-room cosmos. Ten figures are practising daily rituals, walking in circles. They do not know who they are or where they come from, nor do they have names. The men wear odd numbers, the women even numbers. Their dating behaviour, like everything else, is subject to rules that are as strict as they are pointless. An omnipresent, godlike leader (“The Great Zero”) surveys the goings-on; judges are armed. This is a system of governance that leads to the elimination of all independence, but then an unplanned child disturbs the order. The time is ripe again for dystopian stories. Simultaneously,  "Numbers" is a film that has fallen out of time: it was created under impossible circumstances and in an existential vacuum.

The Odessa Journal

The Odessa Journal

more articles

Top article

The Ministry of Defense has signed a contract for the construction of a service center for repairing drones in Ukraine

The Ministry of Defense has signed a contract ...

Dmytro Kuleba: Ukraine and Croatia have agreed to use Croatian ports for exporting Ukrainian grain

Dmytro Kuleba: Ukraine and Croatia have agree ...

New sanctions: Defence industry, political parties and individuals linked to oligarchs

New sanctions: Defence industry, political pa ...

Volodymyr Zelensky: We are preparing for the next Ramstein meeting, we expect solidly grounded decisions to meet the prospects on the battlefield

Volodymyr Zelensky: We are preparing for the ...