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The Reckoning Project will showcase documentary films in Berlin at the Kyiv Biennale

Updated: Feb 9

The TRP Ukraine team will showcase documentary films at the Kyiv Biennale in Berlin, dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the Revolution of Dignity and the beginning of the Russian-Ukrainian war.

It will take place at four locations: station urbaner kulturen/nGbK Hellersdorf, nGbK am Alex, and in the Between Bridges and Prater galleries. The public part of the biennale will be opened on Feb 16 by historian and Yale University professor Timothy Snyder.

From February 23 to April 1 at nGbK am Alex, four documentary films will be continuously shown: The Most Frightening Days of My Life. Yahidne, Chernihiv. 03.03.2022, Station Kramatorsk and The Hospital that Was Taken Hostage.

On February 29, The Reckoning Project, an initiative of international and Ukrainian reporters, analysts, and researchers, will present the project and talk about the collection and verification of testimonies of survivors about Russian war crimes. The discussion will feature co-founder Natalka Gumenyuk, producer Lyuba Knorozok, and chief legal data archivist Raji Abdul Salam.

Also, as part of the discursive program, we will show for one time only the documentary film "Chernobyl 22" by Oleksiy Radynskyi about the occupation of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and the resistance of its workers. The screening will be in English with translation into German.

Chornobyl 22

During the Russian occupation of the Chornobyl Zone in early 2022, a local informant is clandestinely filming the Russian troops. We hear the workers of the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Station discuss their experiences during the Russian military takeover of their facility - an act of nuclear terror which threatened another global disaster at this site. Past and present catastrophic scenarios intertwine in this episode of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Author of the film: Oleksiy Radynski

Duration: 21:13 min

The Most Frightening Days of My Life. Yahidne

Yahidne, a small village in Chernihiv Oblast, was occupied by the Russian army from 3 March to 30 March 2022. The Russians locked up 367 local residents in a village school basement and held them there for an entire month. Dozens of children and elderly people in a room of 86 m2. People were imprisoned, denied food and medications. People slept sitting in chairs. On the 5th day, the first person died due to lack of oxygen. In total, 10 people died in that place. The dead bodies remained inside the room with the living for a long period of time since the occupiers didn’t allow them to be buried. Additional 15 people were killed outside the basement. The film will tell the story of how it all happened, how people managed to survive the cruelty of the Russian army.

Authors: Svitlana Oslavska, Natalia Gumenyuk, Angelina Kariakina, Lyuba Knorozok, Yuriy Dunay, Peter Pomerantsev, Andriy Bashtovyi, Andriy Lysetskyi, Anna Tsyhyma, (in partnership with TIME magazine)

Duration: 18:20 min

Chernihiv. 03.03.2022

On 3 March 2022, Russian troops began aerial bombardments of Chernihiv. It was the 9th day of the full-scale war as well as one of the first massive aviation attacks of the Kremlin against Ukrainian cities, which resulted in at least 47 deaths. Near Chornovola Street, civilian residents of the city were standing in queues for medications, food, attempting to survive in an encircled city. These are their personal stories. The Hrytsyk family who lost two people closest to them. Halyna Pisnia who was dragged out of the rubble of her first home, the place that's been a life-long dream of hers. Maryna Yeshchenko who was forced to flee her home again, just like she had to leave Prypiat back in 1986. This story describes how one single bombardment can affect the lives of ordinary people.

Authors of the film: Vira Kuryko, Oksana Karpovych, Angelina Kariakina, Vadym Ilkov, Lyuba Knorozok

Duration: 18:42 min

Station Kramatorsk

The Russian missile strike on the Kramatorsk railway station on April 8, 2022, that killed 61 and injured more than 120 people as they tried to evacuate to safer regions remains one of the bloodiest attacks against Ukrainian civilians since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion. The Russian army launched the attack by firing a Tochka-U ballistic missile equipped with a cluster munition warhead at 10:28am as more than 3000 people waited in the station. As often, the Russian Federation tried to justify the strike by claiming that they were targeting Ukrainian military equipment. This is still considered a war crime because there were thousands of civilians in the risk zone. However, the use of such precision weapons as Tochka-U and the nature of the injuries point to the fact that the strike was targeted, intended to cause maximum harm to people and disrupt civilian evacuations from the region.

This film is an attempt to convey the experience of those who were at the railway station that day and to show what it means to be at the epicentre of such an attack. This story demonstrates the cruelty of the perpetrators of this tragedy, as well as the incredible strength and humanity of the survivors and of those who fought to save lives.

Authors of the film: Anna Tsyhyma, Natalia Gumenyuk

Duration: 35:40 min

The Hospital that Was Taken Hostage

The film tells the story of the life and resistance of the hospital in the city of Snihurivka, Mykolaiv Oblast, during the city’s occupation in 2022. In spite of the threats and scare tactics practiced by the Russian military for 9 months 80 medics continued providing medical help to the local residents. They performed surgeries without any proper conditions, were forced to treat their invaders, remaining truthful to their oath, but also treated the witnesses of the Russians – people who had been imprisoned and tortured by Russians, hid medical equipment during searches, and kept maintaining contact with the outside world to tell their true story while waiting for liberation.

Authors of the film: Anna Tsyhyma, Natalia Gumenyuk

Duration: 21:00 min


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