CANCELED. Film Screening & Discussion. Syndrome of War. I'm Used to Killing

Thursday, March 12, 2020
Deutsches Haus (420 West 116th St at Amsterdam Ave)

We regret that this event has been canceled.

Please join the Ukrainian Film Club at Columbia University and the Harriman Institute for the US premiere of the feature documentary Syndrome of War. I'm Used to Killing (2019), directed by Olena Solodovnikova. Professor Yuri Shevchuk will introduce the film and lead the discussion. English subtitles.

Syndrome of War tells the stories of former fighters who defended Ukraine in the Ukrainian-Russian war, and subsequently lost everything as hostages of post-traumatic stress disorder. An invisible killer, PTSD alienates veterans from all that is dear to them: their family, their health, and their faith in the future. As they are forced to continuously relive the war even in the midst of otherwise peaceful lives, some who survived fighting in the Donbas die by suicide.

This documentary explores various forms of war trauma and the ways veterans can overcome it. One story is that of Irina, a military nurse and former fashion designer who has seen hundreds die at the front. Upon her return home, her marriage falls apart as she is haunted by her memories and her dream to die as a hero, defending her country. It is only her seven-year-old daughter that keeps her from returning. Another story is Sashko's: a mortarman who suffered a serious concussion, Sashko works at a gas station after his hospital treatment. Though his physical injuries are improved, he suffers from uncontrolled agression, and attacks his wife and daughter, who do not know how to help him cope with PTSD.

The film's soundtrack, "The Mannerheim Life," was composed by the rock group Dogs in Space led by Ukrainian poet Serhii Zhadan.