In the Donbass, a region of Eastern Ukraine, a hybrid war takes place, involving an open armed conflict alongside killings and robberies on a mass scale perpetrated by separatist gangs. In the Donbass, war is called peace, propaganda is uttered as truth and hatred is declared to be love.
A journey through the Donbass unfolds as a chain of curious adventures, where the grotesque and drama are as intertwined as life and death. This is not a tale of one region, one country or one political system. It is about a world, lost in post-truth and fake identities. It is about each and every one of us.
Ukrainian pitch-black political comedy Donbass is the brand new film from director Sergei Loznitsa (A Gentle Creature) and winner of the Cannes ‘Un Certain Regard’ Prize for Best Director at the 2018 festival. Constructed from 13 episodes, Loznitsa’s engrossing drama provides a unique take on one of the most disturbing and threatening of contemporary conflicts.
After watching amateur videos posted on the internet, Loznitsa constructed his own screenplay, referencing the format of TV reports and the frequent construction of ‘fake news’. Donbass is enthusiastically acted, sometimes deliberately theatrical and something of a grotesque tour de force. It’s all brilliantly – if harrowingly – imagined, with stunning imagery courtesy of expert cinematographer Oleg Mutu.
Director: Sergei Loznitsa
Cast: Tamara Yatsenko, Ludmila Smorodina, Olesya Zhurakovskaya, Boris Kamorzin, Sergei Russkin
Format: DCP, Scope, Colour
Language: Ukrainian, Russian
Date: 26 April 2019
Formats: DCP or Blu-ray (on request)
Terms: Runs, festival screenings and single screenings will be accepted.
Festivals: The film premiered in the UK as part of the London Film Festival in October 2018.
“A scathing portrait of a society where human interaction has descended to a level of barbarity” – Variety
“Filled with the violence and Orwellian unreality ruling eastern Ukraine, Sergei Loznitsa’s feverish procession of scenes is handled with steely control ★★★★☆” – Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
“The film’s displays of humour give away to harsher scenes of brutality and intense moments where rural calm is suddenly disrupted by mortar explosions and transformed landscapes dotted with corpses ★★★★☆” – Cine Vue
“Loznitsa’s latest film is a howl of rage and anger – It’s a haunting brutal film” – Gráinne Humphreys, Festival Director (Dublin International Film Festival)