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10 Films Bearing Witness: The War in Ukraine on Screen (Since February 24th, 2022)

The war in Ukraine has left an indelible mark on the world. The courage, heartbreak, and unwavering spirit of the Ukrainian people have ignited a firestorm of artistic responses. Cinema, with its unique ability to capture raw emotions and tell compelling stories, has been at the forefront. Here are 10 films, documentaries, and shorts that delve into various aspects of the war since February 24th, 2022:

  1. “20 Days in Mariupol” (2023): Taking home the 2024 Oscar for Best Documentary Feature, this film by Mstyslav Chernov stands as a powerful testament to the early days of the brutal siege of Mariupol. Using harrowing footage shot by Chernov and his team amidst the devastation, it offers a glimpse into the resilience of civilians and the horrifying cost of war.
  2. “Evacuation” (2022): This hauntingly beautiful documentary by Valentyn Vasyanovich follows a group of volunteers risking their lives to evacuate civilians from war-torn eastern Ukraine.
  3. “Butterfly Vision” (2022): A powerful short film by Iryna Tsilyk showcases the struggles of a young Ukrainian ballerina amidst the backdrop of war, highlighting the shattered dreams and disrupted lives.
  4. “House of Broken Mirrors” (2022): This documentary by Oksana Karpovych explores the war’s impact on a small Ukrainian village, following the lives of its residents as they grapple with loss, displacement, and the struggle to rebuild.
  5. “A Rising Storm” (2023): A fictional narrative film inspired by true events, Nariman Aliev’s “A Rising Storm” depicts a Ukrainian family’s fight for survival and the unwavering spirit of the resistance.
  6. “This is War: Diary of Our Times” (2023): A compilation documentary by a collective of Ukrainian filmmakers, offering a raw and unflinching look at the war’s daily realities for ordinary Ukrainians.
  7. “The Voices of Chernobyl” (2023): This documentary by Maryna Koutsenko sheds light on the harrowing experiences of workers and volunteers who secured the Chernobyl nuclear power plant during the initial invasion.
  8. “Open Faced” (2023): An intimate portrayal by Valentyn Vasyanovich of a Ukrainian photojournalist’s journey documenting the war, capturing the human cost of the conflict through a powerful lens.
  9. “Donbas” (2023): A continuation of a pre-war project by Laura Petersen, this documentary follows a group of Ukrainians whose lives have been forever altered by the ongoing conflict in the Donbas region.
  10. “My Ukrainian Funeral” (2023): A darkly comedic film by Olesya Moroz exploring the absurdity of war through the lens of a filmmaker struggling to complete a documentary about traditional Ukrainian funerals amidst the chaos.

This list represents just a fraction of the cinematic responses to this ongoing struggle. By watching these films, we gain a deeper understanding of the human stories behind the headlines and honor the unwavering spirit of Ukraine.