In March 2022, Russian troops withdraw from a small town in the Kyiv region, and Ukrainian citizens emerge from their homes to clean their streets, rebuild, and face a new day while grieving all that’s been lost. This film poignantly captures how a small community continues with life amid trauma and loss, while war rages on close by.
In early 2022, the small Ukrainian town of Bucha near the capital, Kyiv, was occupied by the Russian army for several weeks. After a month of intense fighting, the Russian army withdrew, leaving the town destroyed in its wake. In When Spring Came to Bucha, citizens share their stories as they clean their streets of debris and re-build their shattered homes. Yuri, municipal services manager, struggles to keep people supplied with clean drinking water. Olenka is the only pupil in her classroom after two of her classmates are killed, the rest having left the country. Yet in the midst of suffering, a young couple gets married, and life must go on. This heart-rending yet empowering documentary tells stories of loss, hope, and resistance, as the spring flowers of Bucha begin to bloom.
Discussion to follow screening with filmmaker Mila Teshaieva and Masha Gessen, Russian-American journalist, author, translator, activist.
In-Person Event: New York: Film at Lincoln Center's Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center; Wednesday, June 7, 6:30-8pm EDT
Discussion to follow screening with filmmaker Mila Teshaieva and Rachel Denber, Deputy Director, Europe & Central Asia Division, Human Rights Watch.
In August 2021, staff at the most widely read newspaper in Kabul, ‘Etilaat Roz’, are left with an impossible choice after the Taliban seize power: stay and continue reporting—risking torture, imprisonment, and death—or join thousands of others attempting to flee the country. ‘Etilaat Roz’ staff member Abbas Rezaie films his colleagues as they navigate the days that changed their lives and the direction of the country.
From inside the office of the city’s most widely read newspaper, The Etilaat Roz is a first-hand account of the 2021 takeover of Kabul by the Taliban. Afghan filmmaker and ‘Etilaat Roz’ staff member Abbas Rezaie relentlessly films and questions his passionate colleagues on the editorial team in the days leading up to, during, and after the takeover. What begins as shock at a surreal situation, gradually shifts to realization of an inescapable reality at their doorstep. Tensions rise as his colleagues must balance their families’ safety with their dedication to provide honest reporting, while the Taliban set their targets on the free press. This dramatic account of a group of courageous journalists in their struggle for truth, freedom, and life is poignantly captured by Rezaie’s camera, fully immersing the viewer in this rapidly changing environment.
In-Person Event: New York: Film at Lincoln Center's Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center; Thursday, June 1, 6:30-8:30 EDT
Discussion to follow with Fatima Faizi, freelance journalist and special guests. Moderated by John Sifton, Advocacy Director, Asia Division, Human Rights Watch.
Digital Film Screening: Monday, June 5 - Sunday, June 11
Streaming online across the US only.