The conflict between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian soldiers has been raging in the Donbas since 2014. French war reporter Loup Bureau began working to capture the daily lives of soldiers in the Ukrainian trenches four years later. Three months in the field and 70 hours of footage allowed him to portray the absurdity and futility of the conflict up close – primarily through the intentional evocation of the First World War. The more general factual data are left aside – what’s more important are the everyday shots, where emotions prevail. Boredom and anxiety alternate with fatigue, smoking, and playing video games are interrupted by the occasional grenade or gunshot.
As a war reporter, he started covering Ukraine after the Euromaidan demonstrations in 2013-14. He decided to make the documentary after his release from a Turkish prison – he was wrongly arrested on charges of “aiding a terrorist organization.” His debut premiered at the Venice Film Festival; it was also screened at IDFA in Amsterdam and DocPoint in Helsinki.
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