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Please join the Ukrainian Film Club at Columbia University and the Harriman Institute for a screening of director Kateryna Hornostai’s 2021 feature narrative drama Stop-Zemlia. Introduction and discussion led by Professor Yuri Shevchuk. The director of the film Kateryna Hornostai will take part in its discussion via Zoom from Kyiv.
It takes a truly talented and creative director to make a film that is innovative in the most exciting sense of the word. Stop-Zemlia is exactly that. Defying a genre categorization, it is a narrative feature, a drama, a documentary, an interview, and a reality show all in one and all at their best. On the surface, it is a coming-of-age story with a group of Kyiv high school seniors at its center, in search of themselves in contemporary Ukraine, a country at war conveniently blocked out of society’s consciousness and generally forgotten. Their own war with the world of adults, the world of conformism, and hypocrisy feels much more real than the distant war waged in the east of the country. In a dramatic departure from the inherited and deeply colonialist vision of Ukrainian urban youth culture as “naturally” Russian-speaking, Kateryna Hornostai does something that few of her peers succeeded in doing – she creates the image of a free and decolonized Ukraine, the image that, by sheer force of her talent, seems more compelling than the actual reality. In that, Ms. Hornostai comes out as a true descendant of the great Oleksander Dovzhenko, the founder of Ukrainian national cinema. Stop-Zemlia is a captivating vision of Ukraine that is to come with the new generation of its citizens who have already won the cultural war with the empire while the all-out military war is still being waged. Stop-Zemlia is Kateryna Hornostai’s feature narrative directorial debut.
The film is in Ukrainian with English subtitles.
The Ukrainian Film Club of Columbia University expresses its gratitude to Altered Innocence, the US distributor of Stop-Zemlia and to Mr. Frank Jaffe personally for making this event possible.
Kateryna Hornostai (Gornostai) is a film director, writer, and editor, born in Lutsk, Ukraine in 1989. She studied at the Marina Razbezhkina and Mikhail Ugarov School of Documentary Film and Theatre in Moscow, Russian Federation, and began making documentaries in 2012. During the Euromaidan Revolution, she returned home to Kyiv. She later moved into fiction and hybrid forms. Stop-Zemlia is her debut feature narrative film. It was awarded a Crystal Bear in the Generation 14+ section of the Berlin International Film Festival, 2021. Alongside her work as a filmmaker, she also teaches documentary filmmaking in a number of educational projects. She lives in Kyiv, Ukraine.