Kostiantyn Mykhalchenko, Kyiv.
The Kyiv Premiere of the multi-award winning Canadian feature documentary “Recovery Room” was held at Kino-Kliub, National University of Kyiv Mohyla Academy on Friday, March 9, with the film’s producer Yurij Luhovy of Montreal present.
Special guest was Ambassador of Canada to Ukraine Roman Waschuk, as well as, Prof. Larysa Briukhovetska, senior lecturer and editor of “Kino-Teatr”, Volodoymyr Kistyanyk from the Ukrainian World Congress Kyiv bureau, Bohdan Kulych, chair of Ukrainian Canadian Congress Ukraine-Advisory Committee in Kyiv, Prof. Volodomyr Serhijchuk of Taras Shevchenko National University, historian Nina Lapchynska, Roman Luhovy, composer, who won an award for best original music score for “Recovery Room”, Mike Yelchev, a cameraman during the Maidan who provided original film footage for the documentary, Istan Rozumnyj, filmmaker, and others.
With a full house in attendance, Natalia Onyshchuk, head of Kino-Kliub, officially opened the evening and called upon producer, Yurij Luhovy, who introduced the special guests. Mr. Luhovy requested Ksenia Goroshchuk, participant in the medical missions, to read remarks that were sent by Adriana Luhovy for the Kyiv premiere.
“Recovery Room”, directed by Adriana Luhovy, was filmed by Ms. Luhovy at the Main Clinical Military Hospital in Kyiv, Ukraine. Ms. Luhovy was invited to be part of Canada’s Medical Missions as official photographer, organized by the Canada-Ukraine Foundation (CUF) providing humanitarian aid, coordinated by Victor Hetmanczuk. Noticing photography alone would not capture the depth of the story, Adriana Luhovy began to film. “Recovery Room” is based on interviews with wounded Ukrainian soldiers and with Canadian and Ukrainian medical teams performing complex reconstructive surgical procedures on victims of the Maidan and soldiers injured in eastern Ukraine from rifle fire and explosions. Heading the Canadian Medical Mission was Dr. Oleh Antonyshyn and its Ukrainian counterpart was Dr. Oleh Fedirko. Present at the Kyiv premiere was Nazar Derzhylo, a young soldier wounded by an explosion and treated by the Canadian-Ukrainian medical team, who was interviewed in the film.
An article concerning the Kyiv premiere by Radio Svoboda, written in Ukrainian on March 10, titled (translated from Ukrainian) “I wanted their stories to be heard and never forgotten”, is available on online.
Comments at the Kyiv premiere include: “Outstanding, heartwarming and truly informative film. As a veteran of the US Navy (and physician), you successfully pulled together the right mix of the hell of war and the love and dignity of providing good medical care. Bravo!” stated Danylo Shmorhun from Texas who was visiting Kyiv; and, “The film is incredibly optimistic in spite of the topic. If a country has such youth, then that country has a future. We greet you with the premiere in Kyiv!” stated by Dr. Hennadij Boriak and Lilly Boriak.
“Recovery Room” continues to further international public awareness about the impact of the ongoing war, a threat not only to Ukraine’s independence but to global peace. A Ukrainian-language version is being made. The documentary is under the patronage of Ukrainian World Congress.