Human Rights Documentary Film Festival “Ukrainian Context” begins in Kyiv

The formal opening of this Fourth International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival will take place at 19.00, 30 March (this evening!) at the Kyiv House of Cinema (Saksahansky St, 6).

The festival will continue to 6 April, and should not be missed.

The film opening the Festival is by the Italian producer Claudio Lazzaro “Burn the flag”.  The Italian Northern League is usually seen as a secessionist movement. Few outside Italy are aware how the politics and rhetoric of the League were permeated with authoritarianism, xenophobia and racism. 

From the very beginning the party chose as its enemy workers from the south coming north in search of better jobs. Now the “enemy” are workers from outside the European Union, particularly from Arab countries. In the film Claudio Lazzaro demonstrates examples of extreme anti-Muslim sentiments and incitement to enmity.

This is the fourth such festival in Ukraine since 2003. It was founded by the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union (UHHRU) and the civic organization – the Centre for Modern Information Technology and the Visual Arts,  with the support of the International Renaissance Foundation, the National Union of Ukrainian Cinematographers and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Ukraine.

More than 100 films will be shown over the next week, from almost 40 countries.

Those from other countries include a film by the prominent Hungarian producer Robert Lakatos and a German film by Oliver Aleks and Susanna Bentse “Hitler’s Hit Parade”.

Five films are to be shown from the Ukrainian documentary cycle “Open Zone”, and there will be an opportunity to meet the producers.

The film “Freedom or Death” tells the story of members of the UPA [Ukrainian Resistance Army] who were forced to forget their own names and hide for decades, their lives at risk every moment.

The film “Brothers in captivity” tells the true story of young men from a village in Ternopil who one night in 1973 raised the blue and yellow [Ukrainian] flag over the city administration building in Chortkiv.  They were to pay for this act with years of harsh regime labour camp (Volodymyr Marmus, the initiator, was sentenced to 6 years – see and for more details).

There are many films about burning issues in the modern day, not only in Ukraine. The film “Hrikh” [“Sin”] is about an HIV-infected child and its family struggling for the right to gain an education in Crimean Feodosia. 

Not issues which the language barrier prevents us from understanding.


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