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The Ukrainian-Russian War: 10 Movies to Understand the Causes

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there The war between Ukraine and Russia Hit the world: many thought he wouldn’t really reach for the gun. Instead, on February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the entry into Ukrainian territory by force. There are those who talk about the third world war, the leaders of NATO countries and institutions interact with it Sanctions against RussiaThe specter of the nuclear threat returns to express itself.

The Causes of the war Ukraine – Russia It is not recent, it dates back to at least 2014, and it is of a diplomatic and military nature: Ukraine’s possible accession to NATO (discussed again in recent days) and the status of the Donbass region and Crimea.

We will not report here (that’s why there are professionals like Cecilia Sala, who works in the field in UkraineWe will not analyze the question from a political point of view. Here we want to suggest you Ten films that can help us understand Because he came to the war between Ukraine and Russia.

Since 2014, many Ukrainian and Russian directors have told us about the tensions between the two countries and showed us what was happening in the Donbass. It is clear that by watching their films you do not become an expert in geopolitics, but the artists’ voice is always a mirror of the feelings spread among the people, the same people who experience the fight today firsthand. So here are ten movies to watch A better understanding of the war between Russia and Ukraine.

1. Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s War for Freedom (2015)

Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s War for Freedom (2015) by Evgeny Afinevsky: title documentary From the American naturalized Israeli director So eloquent (in Italian è Winter of Fire: Ukraine’s struggle for freedom).

Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, it chronicles the protests of Ukrainians in 2014, when the government decided to suspend the signing of trade agreements with the European Union for closer ties with Russia.

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you found it Streaming on Netflix.

2. Frost (2017)

Presented at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival in the Director’s Weeks section, frost (2017) by Šarūnas Bartas, a Lithuanian director, has been selected as the Lithuanian actor to compete for Best Foreign Film at the Academy Awards.

It is the story of Rokas (Mantas Jančiauskas), a Lithuanian boy who travels in a convoy carrying humanitarian aid to Ukraine. On the way he meets the two journalists he joined to continue the journey. The three disagree on anything except the importance of helping conflict victims. Together they try to understand themselves, their country and war.

you found it Streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

3. Cyborgs: Heroes Never Die (2017)

Part of the movie budget cyborgHeroes never die (2017) by Akhtem Seitablayev It was supported by the Ukrainian government. It’s based on a true story: In September 2014, soldiers and volunteers from the Ukrainian army defended Donetsk Airport for 242 days. Voluntarily risking their lives for their country earned them the nickname “cyborg”.

The film chooses to tell about five volunteers in particular and focuses on their suddenly changed lives: they all have different professions and social backgrounds, but they share a desire to defend the country in which they were born.

you can buy it On DVD on Amazon.

4. Donbass (2018)

Donbass Film (2018) directed by Sergei Loznitsa was presented at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival in the Certain Regard section, for which it won the Best Director Award. The title is the name of the area we’ve all heard about these days when the war between Ukraine and Russia made the news.

The director chose to tell the conflict between Vladimir Putin’s Russia and the Kyiv government through the lens of black humor: the film tells the daily tension between supporters of Donetsk People’s Republic and Ukrainian nationalists.

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you can buy it On DVD on Amazon.

5. Atlantis (2018) by Valentin Vasjanovic

Atlantis (2018, also known as AtlantidaWritten, directed, filmed and edited by Valentin Vasjanovic. It won Best Film in the Prospects section of the 76th Venice International Film Festival, and was selected to represent Ukraine as Best Foreign Film at the Academy Awards.

We can roughly say that the director saw the future: the film was actually shot in 2025, a year after the end of the war between Ukraine and Russia, which was born from the clashes in the Donbass. It tells the story of Serhiy (Andrei Remaruk), a former Ukrainian soldier with PTSD who works in a foundry.

Streaming on MUBI.

6. Homecoming (2019)

home direction (2019) is the directorial debut of Nariman Aliyev, who has chosen a difficult subject: starting with his personal experience, he tells of his people, Qırımtatarlar (Crimean Tatars), a peninsula in the Black Sea where a language derived from Turkish is spoken.

It is the story of Father Mustafa, who lost his eldest son in the war between Ukraine and Russia and decides to transfer his body to Crimeahis homeland, accompanied by his youngest son.

7. The Earth is Blue Like Orange (2020) by Irina Celik

The earth is as blue as orange (2020) directed by Irina Celik won the Grand Jury Prize: An international film documentary directed by the Sundance Film Festival Jury for Best Foreign Documentary Film.

It’s the story of a woman who lives in it Donbass “red zone”, one of the most dangerous regions of Ukraine, with their children. The father is not there but there is a grandmother. The family is working on a movie they are making in the basement where they have taken refuge. Everyone has a task: one of the daughters directs, the mother takes care of the montage, the rest act. Family members combine a love of cinema and a desire to survive conflict.

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Streaming on MUBI.

8. Off-Road (2021)

bad ways (2021) directed by Natalia Foruzbet, former screenwriter cyborgHeroes never die, here in his infancy as a director. It was presented in the International Critics’ Week section of the Venice International Film Festival 2020, and won the Verona Film Club Award.

It is a documentary in which five very different stories are intertwined, told by the direct voice of soldiers and civilians interviewed by the director and screenwriter. Everything happens in the war zone and the only common element between the parties is the region.

Streaming on MUBI.

9. War Note (2021)

war note Film (2021) by Roman Lyubey is a documentary in which the director takes viewers to the battlefield alongside Ukrainian soldiers and civilian volunteers.

The movie was made by assembling personal videos created with GoPros mobile phones by the movie’s protagonists. It is a very interesting testimony that shows what happens in these situations and how approaching others and mentality change in times of war. All things that are hard to find in history books.

Streaming on MUBI.

10- Klondike (2022)

Klondike Marina Air Grobach (2022) is a very recent film: it was presented only this year at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival and at the 2022 Berlinale.

It is the story of a family like many, who live in a small village in Donetsk region, on the border with Russia. The protagonist, Erka (Oksana Chirkashina), is pregnant and does not want to leave her home, even though the village has been taken over by the Russians.

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