Film Screening & Discussion. The War of Chimeras

Tuesday, February 20, 2018
7:00pm - 9:30pm
1201 International Affairs Building (12th Floor, 420 W 118th St)

Please join the Ukrainian Film Club at Columbia University for the U.S. premier of the documentary film The War of Chimeras (2017), followed by a discussion led by Professor Yuri Shevchuk with director Anastasiya Starozhytska, who will be participating via videoconference.


This strikingly graphic and honest documentary is about the human toll of the ongoing Russian aggression against Ukraine that started in 2014 with the annexation of Crimea and was immediately followed by the Russian occupation of parts of southeastern Ukraine. Director Anastasiya Starozhytska travels through the war zone, documenting such dramatic events as the Ilovaisk encirclement, among others, in an attempt to understand the essence of the war and how it affects people.

In the words of the film’s writer, “It's a real story about love, war and death that was documented by the immediate participants of the events. Director Anastasiya Starozhytska and her boyfriend, Ukrainian soldier Valery Lavrenov, are filming what's happening to them and sharing their feelings with each other. They are together behind the camera, and then right in its focus. Valery volunteers for the front. Anastasiya follows him right after the bloodbath of Ilovaisk.” Valery finds himself in what became known as the Ilovaysk cauldron, and loses many of his comrades-in-arms. Anastasiya travels through ruined Ukrainian cities and villages, interviewing fighters and civilians, documenting captured Russian soldiers and mercenaries. Following this, they return to civilian life together and seek to make sense of what they have gone through.