Documentary Screening: The Other Chelsea

Friday, April 19, 2013
Lindsay Rogers Room (707 IAB)

Please join the Harriman Institute Ukrainian Studies Program and the Association for the Study of Nationalities for a screening of The Other Chelsea, directed by Jakob Preuss, who will answer questions after the screening.

A documentary about the soccer team Shakhtar Donetsk bought by Ukrainian billionaire Rinat Akhmetov, or more specifically, about two of its fans: coal miner Sasha sits among the common people in the terraces, while local politician Kolya sits high above his head in the VIP box. Shakhtar is an example of where politics, entertainment and economics meet. According to Kolya, the performance of the team affects his party, the Party of the Regions, to which current President Viktor Yanukovich and Akhmetov also belong. In Donetsk, one of the biggest cities in Ukraine, the vast majority of the population supports this party (which is pro-Russia), whereas the party of former President Viktor Yushchenko attracts almost no support. Sasha’s love for his soccer team isn’t prompted by political considerations, but the fact that the oligarch is a patriot who invests in his home town team means a lot to him.

“Audiences throughout Ukraine love this film, perhaps because Preuss doesn’t just show us the miserable living conditions of the coal miners, but also their warmth, humor and humanity” –Brigid McCarthy, The World

“I was sent to Donetsk [as an election observer in 2004] probably because I speak Russian and I was deeply impressed by this divide in the country between east and west, orange and blue” –Jakob Preuss