Reel Corner - April 2022

Ode to Movie Quotes

April 2022 Issue
Reel Corner by Donne Paine

Movies that Show What
Ukrainians are Fighting For

As the world looks on in horror as Russia invades Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin began his campaign against Ukraine’s legitimacy as a nation years ago. He has argued that Ukraine was an integral part of Russian civilization and blamed the country’s ruling class for convincing the world that Ukrainians were different from Russians. But this denial of Ukraine’s existence has a long history in Russian culture and politics dating back to the 1870’s.

Ukrainian filmmakers have been on the forefront of this struggle for cultural recognition, first during Soviet times when Ukraine was a constituent republic and more recently, since Russia’s annexation of Crimea. After 2014, a new generation of Ukrainian cinema matured under the threat of Russian aggression, but also amid the hope for national renewal. The Reel Corner has listed a few Ukrainian films that can easily be accessed on Amazon Prime, Apple TV or Netflix. Each of them show the spirit and struggles of the Ukrainian people.

Pray for Peace

Directed by Evgeny Afineevsky
The 2015 documentary film is a first-hand look at the student protest and the unrest of the Maiden Massacre that occurred in 2014. A peaceful demonstration turned into a civil rights movement. The film explores the reason behind the violent revolution.

EARTH 1930

Directed by Aleksandr Dovzhenko
This movie sheds a light on the collectivization policy which was undertaken under Stalin’s rule. It shows the conflict between Kulaks and peasants that work on a collective farm. Kulaks were landowning wealthy peasants who used to own nearly 8 acres of land. After Stalin’s ascension, things changed drastically for them.


Directed by Garrett Batty
This riveting drama depicts the true story of the kidnappings of two Mormon missionaries in Saratov, 1998. In spite of the missionaries’ lives at stake, the LDS church refused to pay for the ransom.


Directed by Alisa Kovalenko
An inspiring documentary about a poor young girl whose talent in sports saves her from crippling poverty. Born and raised in the poorer side of Kyiv, Alina Shilova, 20, shows exceptional talent in football. Thus, she comes to the attention of the authorities who consider her for the national football team.


Directed by Igor Lopatonok
Produced by Oliver Stone
Ukraine’s location has Russia on its eastern border and Europe on its west. For centuries, it has been at the center of a tug-of-war between powers seeking to control its rich lands and access to the Black Sea. 2014's Maidan Massacre triggered a bloody uprising that ousted President Viktor Yanukovych and painted Russia as the perpetrator by Western media. "Ukraine on Fire" provides a historical perspective for the deep divisions in the region, which lead to the 2004 Orange Revolution, 2014 uprisings and the violent overthrow of democratically elected Yanukovych.


ReelCorner 1219 Donne
Donne Paine, film enthusiast, once lived around the corner from the Orson Welles Theater in Cambridge Massachusetts, where her strong interest in films, especially independent ones, began. Supporter of the arts, especially films, she travels to local and national film festivals, including Sundance, Toronto and Tribeca. There is nothing like seeing a film on the big screen. She encourages film-goers to support Hilton Head local theaters; Coligny Theater, Park Plaza Theater and Northridge. To support her habit of frequent movie going, Donne is a travel medicine nurse consultant. See you at the movies!

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