Please join the Ukrainian Film Club at Columbia University for the unofficial North American premiere of director Yaroslav Lodyhin's The Wild Fields (2018), written by poet and author Serhii Zhadan, who will participate in a discussion moderated by Professor Yuri Shevchuk.
Ukrainian and Russian language with English subtitles.
Written by Serhii Zhadan, an internationally acclaimed Ukrainian poet and prose writer, in cooperation with Natalka Vorozhbyt and Yaroslav Lodyhin, this dramedy is a screen adaptation of Zhadan’s popular novel Voroshylovhrad. The old Soviet name of the present-day Ukrainian city of Luhansk, now under Russian occupation, is a metaphor of the colonial legacy Ukraine has been saddled with since the Soviet collapse. The action unfolds in a small town in the Donbas region. The film’s protagonist Hera reluctantly returns to his home town surrounded by the southern steppes, often referred to as the Wild Fields, to tie up some loose ends. His elder brother goes mysteriously missing and Hera is compelled to take over their small family business, an old, unprofitable gas station. Inadvertently, he gets caught up in a dramatic showdown with local organized crime. Refusing to be cowed by thugs into surrendering his property, Hera ends up fighting for something bigger than the family business. Much like the rest of his generation of Ukrainians, he fights for human dignity, for the right to lead a life free from the corrosive legacies of the past.