With the current unprecedented Russian invasion of Ukraine, led by Vladimir Putin, the world is pretty shaken up by the events. The constant live coverage, the pleas for help and the aggressor’s motives have constantly plagued the minds of people worldwide. If you are not aware of the context and backstory of the geopolitical conflict, you need to watch a polarising documentary that explains the Ukrainian crisis in depth.
Titled Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight For Freedom, this 90-minute Oscar-nominated documentary film is directed by Israeli-American director and cinematographer Evgeny Afineevsky.
The documentary takes a deeper look into the recent history of Ukraine, eight years back under the then-Ukrainian (pro-Russian) President Viktor Yanukovych. His decision to not sign the European-Ukraine Association Agreement and instead build closer ties with the Russian government led to a series of protests called the Euromaidan movement.
Those leading the revolutionary demonstrations demanded the resignation of the President and called him the epitome of corruption. This led to the government imposing draconian measures against protestors of the movement.
The documentary dives right into the maelstrom of violence and protests where the opening scene shows a pitch-black screen with yells of protests, gunshot sounds and then an ominous date.
Shot using a hand-held camera, the blurry images and videos add to the atmospheric tension and maelstrom of chaotic mayhem. The dialogue exchange between the characters upholds the intensity and brutality of the ongoing revolution, which went from being a student demonstration to a violent civil rights movement.
Afieneevsky has talked about how Ukraine wants to venture into a completely different direction from Moscow, as indicated by the Maidan protests. He said, “Believing in their freedom, believing in the freedom for the future of their kids, it just proves that these people will not put their weapons down. They will be fighting until the last drop of blood.”
The current conflict on Ukrainian soil has shocked and enraged the world. The western countries have imposed various sanctions on Russia, but that is not hindering their vicious motives. Such large-scale violence has not been noted on European soil since the Second World War.
To gain a basic and historically accurate understanding of the Ukraine crisis, stream the Netflix documentary now.