New East Digital Archive

Thinly-veiled metaphorical film about war in Donbass seeks funding

Thinly-veiled metaphorical film about war in Donbass seeks funding

29 May 2015

Organisers of a fictional film about the war in Donbass have started fundraising in Russia in the hopes of collecting around 60 million roubles ($114,475) for the movie. The film, which was initiated by Gleb Kornilov, head of relief fund “We don’t leave our people” which gives aid to pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine, follows the story of two brothers separated at birth who meet again during the war in Ukraine.

Casting for some of the characters has already been decided, with Ostap’s grandfather to be played by actor Yuri Nazarov, one of Russia’s culture figures who signed an open letter last March affirming solidarity with President Vladimir Putin’s policies on Ukraine.

“When the parents divorce, the children are separated,” Kornilov told Izvestia. “One brother — Andrey — grew up in Lviv, and was brought up by his mother who taught him history of modern Ukraine tainted with Banderist ideology. The second brother — Ostap — grew up in Donetsk, and was brought up by his old-fashioned grandfather Taras (the reference to [Gogol’s story] Taras Bulba is no accident). They don’t see each other for 20 years and meet during war.”

Directed by Vladimir Borko, deputy of the Duma Committee for Culture, the film alleges to offer up an alternative way to resolve the conflict in the east of Ukraine, which the film’s organisers “have formulated in the last year”.

“We will try to give an answer to the main question: how could such a war begin between two brothers?” Kornilov said. “The two brothers are in fact representative of two nations — Russia and Ukraine. Nothing [in the film] will be made up. There will be no propaganda.”

Filming will begin as soon as the funding target is met, with shooting locations to take place in Donbass, Leningrad Oblast and Crimea. The premiere of the film is scheduled for spring 2016.