Bonn - Germany : War, peace and democracy : Ukraine in film.

Contrary to the ongoing devastation in Ukraine, the war torn country has had an eventful history, and there are several films dedicated to it.

There are even those covering the starvation, under Stalin, the Nazis execution of jews at Babi Yar, the Maisan protests and the battle for the Donbas. But here's looking at some you need to watch in current times.

1.- 'Mr Jones' by Agnieszka Holland

The 2019 Berlinale competition entry is based on the true story of Welsh journalist Gareth Jones, who travelled to the Soviet Union in 1933, hoping to interview Stalin.

Along the way, he witnessed the Holodomor, the devastating famine that killed millions of Ukrainians. Jones' reporting made the world aware of the scale of the disaster, which Soviet authorities were trying to hide.

2.- 'Babi Yar Context' by Sergei Loznitsa

Ukrainian director Sergei Loznitsa's documentary deals with the Nazi German occupation of Ukraine during World War II. The film Babi Yar Context [2014] is based on archival footage and reconstructs the events that led to the murder of 33, 771 jews in occupied Kyiv in September 1941.

3.- 'Rhino' by Oleg Senzov

Rhino [2021], by Ukrainian director Oleg Senzov, is set in the 1990s and shows how crime and violence spread in Ukraine and after the collapse of the Soviet Union. ''Quite a few in Ukraine still romanticise this period,'' he told DW at the time of its release.

He aims to '' completely de-romanticize '' this dark chapter with his film.

4.- 'Maidan' by Sergei Loznitsa

In another documentary film Maidan [2014], Loznitsa devoted himself to what is known as the Euromaidan. On Kyiv's Maidan Square between 2013 and 2014, hundreds of thousands people demonstrated for democracy. What began as a peaceful protest, ended in street fighting.

Today, Ukraine remembers the Euromaidan as the '' Revolution of Dignity ''.

5.- 'Bad Roads' by Natalya Vorozhbyt and 'Donbass'' by Sergei Loznitsa

No-less than two feature films are dedicated to the Donbas region, where Ukrainian government troops have been fighting pro-Russian separatists since 2014. Natalya Vorozhbyt has turned her play Bad Roads [2020] into a film.

In it, she tells four stories set on the streets of Donbas. Sergei Loznitsa also shows how war becomes everyday life in ''Donbass''

6.- A new doc by Sean Penn

Sean Pen is currently filming a documentary about the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, with a release date to be determined. Penn was in Kyiv when the Russians rolled into the countryside with tanks in February 2022.

Back in 2021, Penn travelled to the Donbass region and spoke with Ukrainian soldiers there. [DW]


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