The Ukrainian Film Club of Columbia University will hold an exclusive pre-premiere screening of the historical drama Dovbush (2023) by director Oles Sanin. Yuri Shevchuk will introduce the film and moderate the post-screening Q&A.
The movie Dovbush, released in Ukraine in August 2023, has become a sensation and the greatest box-office success any Ukrainian film has enjoyed since 1991. Its story takes place in the early 18th-century Carpathian Mountains. The legendary Oleksa Dovbush leads a band of illusive avengers, known in the popular lore as the Opryshkos, who terrify their Polish overlords and inspire the oppressed poor, whether Ukrainians, Poles, Romanians, or Jews, to fight for their liberation.
“This is a story about our freedom, both internal and external. It is about protecting one’s family, one’s interests, one’s honor… About the Motherland, which is gaining more and more importance for us. Motherland for us is no longer just a territory, but an inner spiritual concept and experience. Right now it is becoming more and more real and without which we will no longer be able to live, we will not be able to respect ourselves. The fact that for us has already become more important than life itself,” says film’s director Oles Sanin.
Dovbush features a stellar crew and cast. Director Oles Sanin’s previous historical drama The Guide was screened in more than 600 US movie theaters within the campaign “Stand with Ukraine through Film.” Director of photography Serhii Mykhalchuk is one of the best cinematographers Ukraine boasts today; his camerawork in Dovbuzh is plainly breathtaking. Composer Alla Zahaikevych’s score is powerful and uplifting. The film cast includes talent from Ukraine, Poland, Canada, and the USA.
According to the film’s producer Maxym Asadchyi, this is the largest Ukrainian film to this day. The largest in terms of the number of involved actors in mass scenes, stuntmen, reenactors, and locations.