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Ukrainian Films

A selection of Ukrainian films old and new, compiled by Ari Kissiloff, Michael Richardson, Rachel Schaff, Patricia Zimmermann. In response to the Russian invasion and war against Ukraine, Team FLEFF has worked on assembling this list of films with links. We invite anyone to contact us if you would like to join this project, suggest titles, or add information. Please contact FLEFF Director Patricia Zimmermann at patty@ithaca.edu

battle of kitty

1918 Battle of Kruty (Aleksey Shaparev, 2018)

Ukraine, 1918. As a Bolshevik army of about 4.000 men, commanded by General Muravyov, advances towards Kyiv, with the aim of capturing the city, a small Ukrainian unit of 400 soldiers -about 300 of which are students- is resisting near the railroad station of Kruty. The clash between the opposite and unequal forces rages, with terrible fury. Young people, like Spartan soldiers, sacrifice themselves in a struggle against aggressors.

Amazon Prime Video - With Subscription

Arsenal

Arsenal (Alexander Dovzhenko, Ukraine/Russia/USSR, 1929)

A soldier returns to Kyiv after surviving a train crash and encounters clashes between nationalists and collectivists.

Streaming free on YouTube 

atlantis

Atlantis (Valentyn Vasyanovych, Ukraine, 2018) 

In 2025 Eastern Ukraine, Sergiy is a former soldier who is having trouble adapting to his new reality. He meets Katya while she's on a humanitarian mission dedicated to exhuming the past.

Apple TV -  With Subscription

Babylon 13

Babylon ‘13 (2014 to the present)

The Ukrainian media collective Babylon '13 is producing short videos documenting the invasion from the point of view of every day people on the ground to counter the media representations of CNN, BBC, and other international new organizations. 

Streaming free on YouTube

babyn yar

Babyn Yar. Context. (Sergei Loznitsa, Ukraine, 2021) 
Wide-ranging documentary about massacre at Babyn Yar of over 33,000 Jews by German troops and Nazi-directed Ukranian police. Based entirely on archive footage directly and indirectly related to Babyn Yar.

Streaming free HERE

breaking point

Breaking Point: The War for Democracy in Ukraine  (Mark Jonathan Harris, Oles Sanin, Ukraine/US, 2017)

BREAKING POINT: The War for Democracy in Ukraine looks at people transformed by a democratic revolution, who give up their normal lives to fight a Russian invasion, in a war which has killed 10,000 and displaced 1.9 million Ukrainians.

Streaming free HERE

close relations

Close Relations (Vitaly Mansky, Latvia/Germany/Estonia/Ukraine, 2016) 

Filmmaker Vitaly Mansky crisscrosses the Ukraine in the wake of the Maidan uprising to explore the Ukrainian society.

Streaming free HERE

democracy to chaos

Democracy to Chaos (Jill Emery, France, 2011)

In 2004, the Orange Revolution saw off Victor Yanukovych's fraudulent bid for power. Ex-businesswoman Yulia Tymoshenko emerged as the muse of the revolution, determined to exorcise the spectre of Russia from Ukrainian politics once and for all. But a decade on, oligarchs are still doing deals with Putin behind the population's back. Will Ukraine ever be free of the Kremlin's vice-like hold?

Available to rent on Amazon

Donbas

Donbass (Sergei Loznitsa, Germany/ Ukraine/ France/ Netherlands/Romania, 2018)
Satirical drama consisting of series of vignettes depicting social destabilization in Donbass region of eastern Ukraine. Official submission for Ukraine for Best Foreign Language Film category at 2019 Academy Awards. Won the Un Certain Regard award for Best Director at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.

In current festival release, not available for streaming.

earth

Earth (Alexander Dovzhenko, Ukraine/USSR, 1930)

This impressionistic silent Ukrainian/Russian/Soviet  film follows the trials and tribulations of farmers on a collective who come into conflict with more affluent "kulak" landowners. Led by Vasili (Semyon Savshenko), the farmers pool their resources to buy a tractor, a triumphant development that soon yields to tragedy. Despite the hardships that they face, the farmers press on, with their connection to the land evident in the film's many moments of scenic rural beauty

Streaming free on YouTube

in darkness

In Darkness (Agnieszka Holland, 2011, Poland)
Story of sewer worker in Lwów who shelters a group of Jews who escaped from the ghetto. At the time, Lwów was part of Poland, but the city is now part of Ukraine (it had been claimed at various points by both Poland and Ukraine), so this one is perhaps a bit of a stretch.

Available to rent on Amazon

maidan

Maidan  (Sergei Loznitsa, Ukraine/Germany, 2014)

The film by Sergei Loznista explores and follows the protests and violence in Kyiv's Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square) which lead to the overthrow of President Viktor Yanukovych.

Available to rent on VuduYouTubeApple TV

man with a movie camera

Man with a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov, USSR and VUKVUY, All Ukrainian Photo Cinema Administration, 1929) 

Part documentary and part cinematic art, this film follows a utopian city in the 1920s Soviet Union throughout the day, from morning to night. The film was shot in Odessa, Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Moscow. With a variety of complex and innovative camera shots, the film depicts scenes of ordinary daily life in Russia. Vertov celebrates the modernity of the city, with its vast buildings, dense population and bustling industries. While there are no titles or narration, Vertov still naturally conveys the marvels of the modern city.

Streaming free HERE

my joy

My Joy (Sergei Loznitsa, Ukraine, 2010)  
This film is set in Western Russia/Ukraine and tells the story of of truck driver Georgy. Georgy leaves his home town with a load of goods, but he is forced to take a wrong turning on the motorway, and encounters a variety of obstacles. A parable of post-Communist Russia. First Ukranian film to compete for Palm d’Or and rare feature film by Loznitsa.

Streaming free on Kanopy

no place on earth

No Place on Earth (Janet Tobias, UK/Germany/US, 2012)
Documentary based on Esther Stermer's memoir We Fight to Survive that tells the story of five Jewish Ukranian families (38 people in total) who hid in an underground cave for nearly two years to escape the Holocaust.

Amazon Prime Video - With Subscription

road to Babi yar

Road to Babi Yar (Boris Maftsir, Israel, 2018)
Documentary about first 100 days of occupation of Ukraine by Nazis.

Streaming free on YouTube

servant of the people

Servant of the People (Ukraine, 2015-2019)

This TV sitcom sees Volodoymr Zelensky playing an ordinary man who accidentally becomes president of Ukraine. Servant of the People was a huge hit in Ukraine, so much so that it helped Zelensky launch a real-life political career. His ground roots political party, also called Servant of the People, helped him to a resounding victory in 2019 when he was elected president with an overwhelming majority.

Available as of 3/16/22 on Netflix in US (and some other countries)

In the US, there are some episodes are available to stream on YouTube

Rebroadcast Begins on UK Channel 4 Sunday, March 6 10:35 p.m. in the UK.

shchors

Shchors (Alexander Dovzhenko, Ukraine/Russia/USSR, 1939)
Shchors is a 1939 Soviet biopic film directed by Alexander Dovzhenko and Yuliya Solntseva. Commissioned by Joseph Stalin, the film is a biography of the partisan leader and Ukrainian Bolshevik Nikolai Shchors. Shchors is played by Yevgeny Samoylov

Streaming free on Archive.org

Ukraine is not a brothel

Ukraine is not a Brothel (Kitty Green, Australia, 2013)

Ukraine's topless feminist sensation Femen has created a media frenzy across Europe, but before they take the world by storm, these bold and beautiful women must confront the dark and perverse forces that power their organisation.

Streaming free HERE

Ukrainian sherrifs

Ukrainian Sheriffs (Roman Bondarchuk, Ukraine/Latvia/Germany, 2015)

A tragicomic portrait of a two-man team of sheriffs in a remote Ukrainian village disturbed by everyday incidents and political developments.

Available to rent on AmazonGoogle PlayYouTubeApple TV

ukraine wild

Ukraine Wild (Svetlana Egorova, UK/ Germany, 2007)

Ukraine was for many years a forgotten land in Europe. However, in 2004, Ukraine's Ruslana won Eurovision and put Europe's largest country in focus. It has an abundance of wildlife and manifold landscapes, from the forests of the Carpathian Mountains, across the plains to the subtropical peninsula Krim on the coast of the Black Sea. Ruslana, Ukraine's biggest star, takes us on the ultimate sightseeing adventure.

Available to rent on Amazon

winter on fire

Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom  (Evgeny Afineevsky, Ukraine/US/ UK, 2015) 

A documentary on the unrest in Ukraine during 2013 and 2014, as student demonstrations supporting European integration grew into a violent revolution calling for the resignation of President Viktor F. Yanukovich.

Streaming free on YouTube

zvenigora

Zvenigora (Alexander Dovzhenko, Ukraine/Russia/USSR, 1928)

A grandfather who trades in salt (Nikolai Nademsky) looks after his two grandsons, the idealistic nationalist dreamer, Pavlo (Les Podorozhnij), and the industrious Bolshevik worker and soldier, Timoshka (Semyon Svashenko). In a surreal, modernist story that leaps back and forth over a thousand years of history and Ukrainian mythology, the grandsons battle each other in a civil war. Soviet director Aleksandr Dovzhenko's first film in his Ukraine Trilogy was shot mostly on location.

Streaming free on YouTube

Real time reporting by citizen journalists

DATTALION: UKRAINE’S DATA BATTALION 

An open database with video footage from real hotspots of russia’s war against Ukraine

Also: https://www.facebook.com/dattalioncom/

FLEFF: A DIFFERENT ENVIRONMENT