Recently named Ukraine's submission for the Academy Awards 2023, this beautifully shot, panoramic film is set in 2014, around the time that passenger plane MH17 was shot down at the border between Ukraine and Russia.
Devastatingly insightful in light of current events, the story follows Irka, the pregnant wife of Tolik, negotiating life on their nearby smallholding while walking a tightrope around visiting paramilitary forces. Tolik’s separatist friends expect him to join their efforts, and Irka’s brother is enflamed with suspicion that the couple has betrayed Ukraine. But Irka refuses to be evacuated even as the village gets captured by armed forces, and tries to make peace between her husband and brother by asking them to repair their bombed house. Dedicated to women, the film is an extraordinary testament to ordinary people who find themselves thrown into unthinkable circumstances.
Ukraine Encounters is part of the UK/Ukraine Season of Culture devised jointly by the British Council and the Ukrainian Institute