Ukraine: "The Cars" With Ukrainian Voiceover; Local TV

Global Voices Online
Tuesday, June 20, 2006

LJ user didaio of Dnipropetrovsk writes about two recent viewing experiences: one good, another bad. The good one was The Cars with the long-awaited voiceover in Ukraine's national language - instead of (or in addition to) Russian; the bad one was the Ukrainian TV programming that all those who can't afford a satellite dish are doomed to watch. Below are the posts' translation from Ukrainian.

June 16, 2006:

Gradually, Ukrainian movie theaters are beginning to show the first Hollywood film with the Ukrainian-language voiceover. Looks like the process of presenting the animation with the voiceover already done is more complicated than the process of doing the voiceover itself. There's also a Russian-language version of the cartoon. And in Dnipropetrovsk, there are a lot more Russian-language screenings than those in Ukrainian. As of today, the Ukrainian-language version is shown in just one theater, and even there, out of 6 screenings of The Cars, only two are in Ukrainian. Moreover, the cartoon has come out late. On June 15, it was shown in just two theaters, today it has appeared in one more multiplex (four viewing halls, all screenings are in Russian), and on June 17, it'll appear in two more multiplexes (the total of 5 screens, but nothing is known about the language).

Despite these problems, I highly recommend the Ukrainian-language version to everyone. Not to support the Ukrainian language, but for your enjoyment. The quality of the Ukrainian translation is a lot better than that of the Russian one. And the sound of the Ukrainian-language copy is excellent, too! And though the cartoon itself isn't anything special (it lacks dynamics) and it hasn't got much space for actors, the Ukrainian actors (Ostap Stupka, Olha Sumska) have done a great job! Funny jokes, allusions to the Ukrainian realities, and simply the feeling of something familiar - all this is present in the Ukrainian-language version of The Cars.

June 17, 2006:


For the third day in a row, I'm forced to watch national TV, mainly. Because when I came back from the Spain v Ukraine game (4:0) and turned on the satellite tuner, I saw an eloquent "No Signal" (white on the red background). It wasn't raining anymore, [...] so there could only be two reasons: someone [stole] the dish or it [went down] by itself. I'm scared to climb onto the roof, and the satellite TV representative promised to visit me "after the days off." This is why, for the third day in a row, I'm forced to watch national TV, mainly, and this "happiness" will last longer than one more day.

In addition to the broken dish, I broke down, too, after the Spain v Ukraine game (4:0). It became painful to watch football, so I'm forced to watch other shows on national TV. And in addition to this, I have a cold and am forced to watch national TV, instead of roaming the streets of my native city, using the public transportation. [...]


Not long ago I had an argument with one woman from LJ, who was calling to stop watching the "zombobox" for at least one day. [My counterargument] was that TV was a very useful invention [...], enabling us to obtain lots of interesting information, and it only takes to know how to use it. She was telling me that in her "life with a TV set" there used to be cases of "constant klats-ing of the remote" - which would fit a zombie but not a contemporary young woman. I responded by loudly announcing [that this woman had problems] and [...] didn't know how to use such a useful invention.

For the past two days of my life, I've been a zombie. I couldn't keep myself at one channel for over 10 minutes. Klats-klats. Here's Savik Shuster talking about football: "Yes, yes, you see. He's passing the ball to him, yes? and he doesn't score, yes?" Klats-klats. Kateryna Lebedeva talking about the coalition: "Here, the negotiations are already over, while there, they still continue." Klats-klats. Dnipropetrovsk stars "over 50" are promoting medicines for impotence: "Medzhik staf - Magic Staff." My cable TV provider allows me to watch almost all Ukrainian, federal Russian, some foreign and a few specialized channels of various countries. All in all, 51 channel. And there's NOTHING to watch whatsoever.

After the orange revolution, I was telling many of my friends (from various countries) ABOUT OUR TV! "It's underdeveloped technically, but it's free and that's why its potential is greater than that of the Russian TV," I was saying naively. These conversations occurred very often, because this was one of the arguments in favor of the orange revolution, and the last time I said it was a couple of months ago. Every day, it hurt more and more to realize how unprofessional Ukrainian journalists were, how they failed to use the unique chance, but I didn't want to fully believe the objective facts. Only in the last two days have I understood how bad everything with the nation's TV.

My satellite antenna received [Russian] Gazprom-owned NTV+, which allowed me to watch more than 60 channels. I watched just a few out of those 60, though: NTV+'s own sports and movie channels, a documentary and comedy channels, Russian Extreme channel, and sometimes Discovery and National Geographic. Needless to say, I didn't watch [Russian] First Channel, Russia Channel and NTV. Together with NTV+, Ukrainian TV didn't look so hopeless. Sometimes there were cool movies, more or less honest news, cool music. But as soon as the satellite TV has disappeared, also gone is all the diverse, interesting information that's not available from other sources.

This is why I'd like to apologize to [LJ user] trina_ka, to whom I was trying to explain the usefulness of TV. I was wrong. In reality, it's not she who's to blame for turning a cool invention into a "zombobox" - the blame is on the "high-quality national television."

One of the comments to this post was left by an LJ user from Belarus (BEL):

oldmah: If only you could see how primitive Belarusian channels are! A site like [the Ukrainian] Telekritika is totally unimaginable [in Belarus] - because there's not even 1 percent of freedom on the screen. Compared to Belarus, you have a truly revolutionary TV.

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