"What have you got for me?!" asks a soldier at a checkpoint in Eastern Ukraine. Not getting a lot of traction with locals on a bus who are obviously affected by the fighting and not well off, he seems genuinely pleased with the offering of a bit of lard to chew on. "Extermination squad volunteer" are the words pinned to a man as he is paraded around town by a Russian separatist soldier, berated and beaten by local citizens.
Such stranger than fiction material from occupied Ukraine is the subject of an unconventional, unsettling and darkly humorous documentary. Film scenes are recreated from episodes gleaned from YouTube and other media. Get a front row seat to strange and disturbing scenes including bribery, confiscation, artillery barrages, the Lady MacBeth of Russian separatists, and more.
Donbass is raw, revealing and powerful. No one can cover their eyes to what is going on in Donbass, which is nothing less than the recolonization of former Russian territory. People are virtually powerless and they bear the brunt of the fighting. Fire and violence tend to invite more of the same. 26 professional actors were employed, and the rest are locals, according to the director who was at this North American premiere at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival.
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