Israeli director EVGENY AFINEEVSKY garnered his first filmmaking honor as a teenager, when a documentary project he made with a youth club in his native Russia won a prize at a film festival hosted by the Pioneer Camp, the country’s equivalent to the Boy Scouts. He made his feature debut with a narrative OY VEY! MY SON IS GAY! (2009), the winner of several festival awards. He has found his greatest success as a documentary filmmaker where his films include WINTER ON FIRE: UKRAINE’S FIGHT FOR FREEDOM (2009), nominated for a Best Documentary Oscar®; PRAY FOR UKRAINE (2015); CRIES FROM SYRIA (2017), winner of a Humanitas Award; and FRANCESCO (2020).
TUESDAY, OCT. 11 • 3:30
FREEDOM ON FIRE: UKRAINE’S FIGHT FOR FREEDOM
UK, Ukraine, US 2022, 118 min, Director: Evgeny Afineevsky
It’s one thing to read articles on Russia’s war against Ukraine or see brief snippets of the destruction on social media. It’s something else entirely to feel like you’ve been dropped into a brutal military assault while it’s happening, which is exactly how documentarian Evgeny Afineevsky makes you feel with this portrait of a nation fighting for its life. A sequel to his Oscar®-nominated 2015 doc Winter on Fire, this compelling, you-are-there dispatch chronicles Russian president Vladimir Putin’s aggression against the Ukrainian people and its aftermath, with previously unseen footage of bombings, violence, and mass evacuations interspersed among testimonials from witnesses and survivors. Afineevsky also pays tribute to the extraordinary character of his fellow citizens, from a stand-up comedy show which mocks the Russian Army to doctors setting up makeshift sanctuaries to everyday people shouting down Russian soldiers. This is what bravery and resistance looks like. —David Fear
In Russian and Ukrainian with English subtitles