Following the first 20 days of the war in Ukraine, this remarkable and deeply disturbing film offers a first-person account of the siege of Mariupol, which lasted for 86 days before the city fell to the invading Russian forces. Comprised of footage from a team of Ukrainian journalists who stayed behind to document the war, the documentary offers little context for the violence, instead simply depicting the rapid and wholesale destruction of a city and the lives of those who live in it. Urgent and visceral in its construction, the film is a difficult watch, intentionally so, but it is also riveting, playing out as a heartbreaking thriller in which the audience already knows the inevitable ending. The result is a terrifying document that is a testament to the utter absurdity and pointlessness of this – and all – wars.
Cinema for Peace Awards (2023) – Nominated: Cinema for Peace Dove for The Most Valuable Documentary of the Year
Cleveland International Film Festival (2023) – Winner: Greg Gund Memorial Standing Up Award
CPH:DOX (2023) – Nominated: F:ACT Award
DocAviv Film Festival (2023) – Nominated: Best International Film
Docudays UA Int'l Documentary Human Rights Film Fest (2023) – Nominated: DOCU/UKRAINE: Best Film
Docudays UA Int'l Documentary Human Rights Film Fest (2023) – Nominated: RIGHTS NOW: Best Film
Seattle International Film Festival (2023) – Nominated: Golden Space Needle Award: Best Documentary
Sundance Film Festival (2023) – Nominated: Grand Jury Prize: World Cinema – Documentary
Sundance Film Festival (2023) – Winner: Audience Award: World Cinema – Documentary
Hot Docs (2023)
A provocative, emotionally devastating work that proves just how powerful the meshing of journalistic and cinematic worlds can truly be.
Riveting…A strikingly immediate record of citizens under siege.
A fearless, front-line witness to history… a salute to the enduring resilience of a people who refuse to surrender their home.