Russia has just launched a full-scale war against Ukraine, and Ukrainian film professionals are addressing the international community in an attempt to make it understand how close to its gates the war is. Directors have been talking about the war in Eastern Ukraine in their films for the past eight years, movies that have been presented at various festivals, although now, reality has proven to be stronger than fiction. The Ukrainian filmmakers are appealing to the international audience not to be silent and not to stand aside. They are asking for help and certain actions that can help Ukraine regain peace.
Oleh Sentsov, director of Rhino [+] and Numbers [+], said: “Putin does not dwell on Ukraine. This is a full-scale war. This is a challenge to the whole democratic world. We are not only defending our land; we are resisting the impending tyranny. The time of concern is over. It is time to fight for freedom and truth.”
Valentyn Vasyanovych, director of Reflection [+] and Atlantis [+], stated: “Yes, I am staying in Kyiv. I want to be among people who are aware of their ethnic, cultural and political affiliation. I want to be among these people to gain important experiences that will help me create true stories about them. I want to be part of a force that will lead to the destruction of the evil empire.”
Maryna Er Gorbach, director of Klondike [+], urged: “Dear colleagues, cinematographers, politicians, opinion leaders: every minute of delay in making influential decisions takes away the lives of Ukrainians now and every life outside Ukraine in the future. World security is in the hands of the Ukrainian army. Be brave and determined, support the demands of Ukrainian politicians. Do it for the future of your own children!”
Anna Machukh, executive director of the Ukrainian Film Academy and the Odesa International Film Festival, said: “Russia has reached the point of no return. These actions are unforgivable and will never be forgotten. Now more than ever, Ukraine needs the help of the international community, not only their support and concern, but with certain actions. It’s not the time now to bury your head in the sand. It’s time to call out. Russia has started the war against Ukraine today, and tomorrow it may be at your door.”
Nataliia Vorozhbyt, director of Bad Roads [+], explained: “I washed my face, and my mother made the patties. We took chairs, candles and water to the basement. I allowed my daughter to swear, because she was scared. I read the news that Russian troops were near Kyiv. Near my Kyiv. My ex-husband enlisted in the army. We live in the centre of Europe, in the 21st century, in Ukraine. Our closest neighbours are Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, the Baltics and Romania. Nearby are Germany, France, Italy and so on – we go there by car. This is not just our war; it will affect every European. It can destroy our world. Your participation, support and help are very much needed now, as well as your speeches, protests, money, weapons and sanctions. I call on the world to unite against Putin’s Russia and win together.”
Iryna Tsilyk, director of The Earth Is Blue as an Orange [+], commented: “Well, we see the real face of Russian fascism now. The Russian dictator has started a full-scale invasion in Ukraine. Many people in Kyiv, Dnipro, Kharkiv, Odesa and other cities woke up to the sounds of explosions and the blare of sirens. Russian and Belarusian tanks have crossed our border. Air strikes by the Russian military are being carried out at various strategic points in many cities in Ukraine. There are many killed and wounded people.
“Ukraine will resist. I believe this is the beginning of the end of Putin and the Russian empire. And I believe in the Ukrainians: our armed forces will fight and defend our land with dignity. But of course, we need all the possible support we can get from the civilised world. It is important to understand that the Russian neo-Führer and the millions of his voiceless or agreeable people have started the war not only against Ukraine, but against the whole of Europe and the whole Western world.
“When I talk about support, I mean not only the sanctions or other actions of the leaders of our allies. We also need informational support. It is important to understand that Putin has built a kingdom of false mirrors where white is called black, and vice versa. We should resist against Russian propaganda all together. I mean each of you, friends. It seems that Ukraine is again in the spotlight of the world’s attention. But we need even more. I know that Russians won’t stop their Führer, but the whole civilised world can do so, as we have many kinds of tools and “weapons”. The main thing is: do not watch silently as the leviathan is trying to devour Ukraine. Your country could be the next one in his crosshairs.”
Nariman Aliev, director of Homeward [+], said: “Ukraine is fighting for its freedom and for its right to freedom. Ukraine is fighting against the Russian Federation, which has its own crazy, imperialist appetite. It is no longer ashamed to attack a sovereign country in front of the eyes of the entire world, having no right and no reason to do so. We need support and assistance: military, economic, informational. I ask all of those who are not indifferent to protest against Russian aggression. Go to the squares in your cities and put pressure on the leaders of your countries to provide real assistance to Ukraine. You can personally make donations for the needs of the Ukrainian defenders so that this war does not end up in your own home tomorrow. I urge directors, actors, musicians and other artists to say no to Russian aggression in Ukraine. Call it what it is – Russia is at war with Ukraine. Each of you can have an influence and make a small sacrifice. Why do we have a voice if we are afraid to use it to destroy evil and avoid innocent people suffering?”
The most important thing you can do right now for Ukraine is to read and disseminate verified information about what is happening. A list of resources where truthful information about Russia’s war against Ukraine can be found is here. For donations, the main charity to raise funds for Ukraine can be found here.