I thought this was an incredibly beautiful and bittersweet piece of storytelling and art. It is over 8 minutes long but well worth viewing, in my opinion. The YouTube link is at the bottom.
Ukraine's Got Talent? This much we already knew. There's Mikhail Bulgakov, Olga Kurylenko and the Klitschko brothers. We can now add Kseniya Simonova to that list who has won the Ukrainian version of Britain's Got Talent with sand animation. Yes, you heard right. She tells stories through sand.
Here, she recounts Germany conquering Ukraine in the second world war. She brings calm, then conflict. A couple on a bench become a woman's face; a peaceful walkway becomes a conflagration; a weeping widow morphs into an obelisk for an unknown soldier. Simonova looks like some vengeful Old Testament deity as she destroys then recreates her scenes - with deft strokes, sprinkles and sweeps she keeps the narrative going. She moves the judges to tears as she subtitles the final scene "you are always near".
"Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man! We shall this day light such a candle, by God's grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out."
--Hugh Latimer, October 16, 1555