Documentary film “Mariupol. Unlost hope” is testimonies of ordinary people, who were eyewitnesses of Russia’s WAR against Ukraine. Three women and two men, who had been living in Mariupol during the first month of the invasion, tell what they have seen and felt, how they have made decisions inside of a war. 

The diaries of one of the film subjects, by journalist Nadiya Sukhorukova from Mariupol, who has noted what happened around her there, were read by the only one off-screen voice.

Main subject Nadia Sukhorukova: “All this should not have happened in the 21st century. I want people to understand the absurdity of the situation and to feel that thousands are dying because of the malice, cruelty and hatred of the Russian occupiers. It’s important for me that every crime of Rashists is recorded, and they will be responsible for everything.”

Director Max Lytvynov: “The film doesn’t have any author’s voice-over, any narrative. This is a film-truth with stories of peaceful people inside the war. They tell them simply and without fear: what they saw, how they felt, what happened to them. Imagine systematic destruction of a half-million city, for several weeks, and these people were inside it. We consciously didn’t put brutal shots, despite we had them, because we didn’t want to make emotional pressure. The main subject, Nadia, is a kind person who did not hate anyone, and the film reflects this intonation. Anyone can watch “Mariupol” and experience it, and find out what it was like there.”

Producer Volodymyr Borodyansky: “The war continues. Heroes of our films survived. Now, in front of the eyes of the whole world, Russians, with a help of their puppets and quasi-republics, prepare a demonstrative ‘tribunal’ against the defenders of Mariupol on Ukraine’s Independence Day. Preparing for the tribunal, ‘DPR’ and ‘LPR’ lifted moratorium on death penalty, built iron cages and invited spectators to the court. In the building of Mariupol Philharmonic, bombed by Russians when civilians were there hiding. The rules of international humanitarian law forbid judging   captured combatants for participation in the fighting. The Russians are trying to erase the memory about their crimes and create a new pseudo-reality. They are trying to destroy all references to their crimes in Mariupol. Our film “Mariupol. Unlost hope” from the very beginning aimed to record everything we can, not to distort reality.”

Volodymyr Borodyanskyi, co-founder of the Organization of Ukrainian Producers (OUP), producer of the film “Mariupol. Unlost hope”: “This campaign is about empathy. It’s important to us that people in cities ‘lookalike’ Mariupol can feel this war, can experience emotions and find solidarity within. The subjects of our films went through an experience that should be seen by every representative of international organizations created exactly to prevent this in today’s world. It’s scary to admit, but ‘never again’ turned out to be just words with no real action behind it. It seems that they have lost their initial mission — to ensure global security and compliance with international humanitarian law by all countries. Each of our subjects demonstrates such incredible strength and humanity that the UN or Red Cross can learn from. Each of the heroes of our films did everything possible to ensure the very possibility of the ‘international humanitarian law’ existence, without any regulations and procedures. And the international community should see this.”

Duration — 52′

Film Crew

Idea — Tala Prystaetska

Director — Max Lytvynov

Journalist — Natalia Kruzhylina

Cameraman — Yuriy Smetanin

Producers — Organization of Ukrainian Producers (OUP), Volodymyr Borodyansky, Iryna Plakhotniuk

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