Afineevsky: “Every day Ukraine burns to defend freedom”

The director at the Lido to present his film ‘Freedom on fire: Ukraine’s fight for freedom’ Out of Competition at the Exhibition: “We must show the world that Ukrainians do not accept the invader, they want their freedom and independence forever”

“Every day Ukraine burns, every day Ukraine goes to the front to defend its freedom. And by fighting it also defends our freedom. It would be another crime. Remain silent. We must show the world that Ukrainians do not accept the invader. , they want their freedom and independence forever “. This was stated by the Israeli-American director Evgeny Afineevsky presenting his film “Freedom on fire: Ukraine’s fight for freedom” Out of Competition at the Venice Film Festival.

“My film wants to give a voice to the Ukrainian people. The film describes the gruesome reality of this unmotivated war, unleashed by Vladimir Putin”, explained the director who made an instant-movie about the Russian invasion, which began last February, in less than six months, assembled in just three and concluded on August 30th, just in time to be presented at the Lido. Afineevsky had already presented in 2016 at the Venice Film Festival “Winter on Fire”, a documentary on the ‘Ukrainian revolution’ on the Maidan square in Kiev in 2013. “We thought we had finished a film, and instead a real war has started”, he added. the director during a press conference, specifying that his documentary is dedicated “to the many Ukrainian journalists who keep the light on this war on”.

“What is underway is a real struggle of Ukraine for freedom – Afineevsky argued – It is the struggle of an entire people, not just of men at the source. I wanted to show with this new film the war from the point of view of civilians. , of the elderly, of children, of women’s mothers. I wanted to hear the voices of the normal beings who make their lives during the war. We wanted to describe the face of a nation capable of smiling despite the war, convinced that unity can win ” .

Director Evgeny Afineevsky pointed out that “the West has been inattentive to Ukraine in recent years: there was the annexation of Crimea and the world did not realize what was happening. It is necessary never turn off the lights on Ukraine. We must bear in mind that Russia’s ambition is not just Ukraine but a new imperialism. And this imperialism is not a threat to Ukraine alone but to the whole world, which perhaps does not seem fully realize it. There is a dictator who wants to build a new empire. ”

“Freedom on fire: Ukraine’s fight for freedom” is an exploration of the courage of the Ukrainian people, fiercely determined to resist “to the last drop of blood”. Demonstrating an amazing ability to remain united and defend the sovereignty of their country, the Ukrainians – the director emphasized – “show compassion and resilience even in the face of death, destruction and inconceivable war crimes”.

The film transports viewers through a war that began in 2014 in the aftermath of Maidan Square (Revolution of Dignity) and continued until the Russian invasion of 2022. Through the personal stories of civilians, children, soldiers, doctors, elders, journalists, leaders international religious and volunteers, is a diary that returns “humanity to millions of people whose lives have been turned upside down by eight years of conflict”.

Finally explained Evgeny Afineevsky: “Our team was determined to document the atrocious events that occurred in Ukraine to demonstrate to the world true heroism, the triumph of the human spirit and that democratic values ​​will prevail. In the spring of 2022, the world was watching. the situation in Ukraine, at first with deep concern and misunderstanding, then with fear and support. However, to date it is still not fully understood what has happened in the center of Europe, to peaceful people in a peaceful country. How this tragic war happened ? Did it happen now or eight years ago and it simply went unnoticed in the eyes of the world? And where did the Ukrainian people find the strength and anger to fight? What will happen next? We tried to answer these questions and tell the story more complete as possible, to help grasp the true essence of this war “.

(from the correspondent Paolo Martini)