Ukraine, as a country, is often overshadowed by the behemoth on its eastern border. As the second largest country in what was the Soviet Union, it’s territory far outstrips its population or global influence. The same can be said about its cinema. Since gaining independence in 1991, Ukrainian filmmakers have struggled to get their voices heard. The tide seems to be slowly turning and with My Thoughts Are Silent director Antonio Lukich has made a sure-fire festival favourite.

Vadim (Andriy Lidagovskiy) works as a sound engineer in Kyiv. Struggling to make a living, he specialises in recording Ukrainian animals and selling these sounds to the West. When he gets a potentially lucrative offer of a move to Canada from a video games company, he thinks his luck is in. Vadim heads into remote Transcarpathia to complete an assignment and capture the call of the Rakhiv Mallard. There’s just one complication, he has to take his semi-estranged mother (Irma VItovska-Vantsa) along for the ride.

My Thoughts Are Silent is an unconventional indie comedy which also doubles as an existential road movie. It’s the relationship between mother and son which is Lukich’s true focus. They have grown apart through distances and distraction, both alone and lonely in their own ways. Whilst a quest to capture a rare bird may be the motivation, it’s the reconciliation between the pair which drives the narrative. My Thoughts Are Silent works as both an offbeat comedy and an intimate relationship drama.

My Thoughts Are Silent screens at Raindance Film Festival.