Follow one young filmmaker’s journey deep into the heart of the conflict in Ukraine.
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In the midst of revolution and civil war, a filmmaker sets out to find herself. From the barricades of Maidan Square, to the frontlines in Donbass, to the safety of a Parisian apartment, Alisa struggles with her love for boyfriend Stephane, her impartiality as a journalist and her duties as a proud Ukrainian. Constantly treading the line between director and subject, filmmaker and fighter, will Alisa leave this conflict with her love, and her life, intact?
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Alisa laughs as she is wooed by a camouflaged soldier. “Hot as a volcano and strong as the wind that’s your kiss on my lips, my beloved girl. Whenever you are near me, it’s like I am drunk.... I drink drop by drop till the very bottom. I didn’t live until I met you”. Alisa is distraught when she later discovers her suitor has been killed on the battlefield.
As the sun rose to the sounds of gunfire and grenades, the young film student sets out to document the monumental events taking place in Kiev. In the midst of the fighting Alisa meets Stephane, a French journalist. “If it weren’t for the revolution, we wouldn’t be together. Even our first kiss was on Maidan”. Together, the couple set off to Donetsk to report on the budding separatist movement. They are shocked by the strength of anti-Western fervour there. After splitting up, Alisa is taken prisoner and interrogated by pro-Russian paramilitaries.
Undeterred by the trauma of imprisonment, Alisa returns to the frontline, with the notorious far-right Pravy Sektor. “Russia propaganda was making them look evil. Pictured them as bloodthirsty nationalists. But what I saw were ordinary guys”. They are amateurish, trying to work artillery from printed paper. “Wikipedia doesn’t say anything. We need a real manual”, complains one of the soldiers.
Alisa finds kinship and excitement with the Pravy Sektor fighters. Upon her return to Kiev she is already preparing to go back. But her enthusiasm for battle, and her growing passion for the fight worries Stephane. He feels she is overstepping the mark, becoming too involved. “Stop playing at being a soldier. There is no need”, snaps Stephane. “What if I become a soldier?” replies Alisa. She is becoming confused about where her allegiances lie.
Alisa In Warland is both a deeply personal story of love in time of war, and a fascinating insight into the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine.
Doc'n'World Foundation – Ref. 6823
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