Set in 2014, Valentyn Vasyanovych’s formally austere film is a remarkable and harrowing depiction of the dehumanising effects of wartime activities – what one must do to survive – and how one comes to terms with this behaviour in the quiet of peacetime. Ukrainian surgeon Serhiy (Roman Lutskyi) is ambushed, captured, and tortured by the invading military forces before being put to work by them, using his medical skills on his fellow prisoners. After bearing witness to horrific brutality, he must put his damaged psyche in order after his release, and his return to the comforts of his former life and family.
Notes by Kevin Coyne
This film is screening as part of Untold Ukraine. Proceeds from ticket sales will go to Nova Ukraine, a nonprofit organisation dedicated to providing humanitarian aid to the people of Ukraine. For additional donations to the Untold Ukraine project, click here.