• Ukraine in Flames

  • Fugue

  • Fugue

Ukraine in Flames

(Bitva za nashu Sovetskuiu Ukrainu)
(Battle for Ukraine)

This is an extraordinary montage film, weaving images taken by twenty-four frontline cameramen, plus captured Nazi footage, into essentially the same story as The Story of the Flaming Years: that of Ukraine before, during, and after the German invasion. “This belongs to a genre that might be termed ‘transcendental newsreel,’’’ wrote Gilbert Adair, “documentary material transfigured by genius.” One can imagine that Oleksandr Dovzhenko and Yuliya Solntseva developed their own cinematic aesthetic from just this kind of harrowing footage of life as it really was. In their treatment, it is history working horizontally, in broad strokes, stopping here and there to touch a human being. Juxtaposition gives us weeping women filling in mass graves; dead bodies in a gorgeous landscape of sunflowers and lowering skies; the parade of people on the land crossing the endless procession of soldiers; farmers walking by the open grave of a dead peasant; battles, bombs, and planes and a man’s shirt hanging from a tree; a screaming skeleton; a lake full of swans.

Judy Bloch
  • Oleksandr Dovzhenko
  • Russian
  • with English electronic titling
Print Info
  • B&W
  • 35mm
  • 71 mins
Additional Info
  • Directed under the artistic supervision of Oleksandr Dovzhenko
Preceded By


John Gianvito, United States, 2022

A poem by Ukrainian-born poet Mieczyslaw Jastrun (1903–1983), survivor of the Nazi occupation of Poland, haunts the steps of a fleeing refugee. Imagined from afar, history rhymes. Includes footage from Ukraine in Flames.

Print Info
  • Color
  • Digital
  • 15 mins
  • John Gianvito

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