Updates on Bitter Harvest: Additional Locations Until March 23; Viewer Reviews

Bitter Harvest
Режисер Юрій Менделюк (на подіумі), продюсер Ігор Ігнатович (коло сцени), Посол України в Канаді Андрій Шевченко (справа) та лідер гурту "Океан Ельзи" Святослав Вакарчук (поруч) на презентації фільму Bitter Harvest в четвер, 2 березня в TIFF Bell Lightbox, Торонто. Світлина: Новий Шлях

Due to overwhelming response, the film “BITTER HARVEST” has extended its run for a 3RD WEEK with additional theatres added!!!! The film will continue to play multiple times a day in all theatres below from THURSDAY MARCH 16TH until THURSDAY MARCH 23RD!

APPEAL TO UKRAINIAN-CANADIANS: GO AND SEE BITTER HAVEST! IF YOU HAVE ALREADY SEEN IT- TAKE YOUR CANADIAN FRIENDS!!! THE FILM IS IN ENGLISH, SO PEOPLE ARE ENCOURAGED TO TAKE WITH THEM THEIR CANADIAN FRIENDS TO SPREAD GREATER AWARENESS ABOUT THE HOLODOMOR!!!

LIST OF CONFIRMED THEATRES – PLEASE CHECK AS IN SOME CITIES THEATRES HAVE CHANGED!!!

New Locations: 

– Kingston Screening Room

– Princess Waterloo

– Dauphin Manitoba

– Lakeshore Windsor

– Cinestarz Mississauga

– Mount Pleasant Theatre – Toronto

Holdovers: 

– Cineplex Queensway, Toronto

– Cineplex McGillivray, Winnipeg

– Landmark Whitby

– Cineplex Forum Montreal

– Humber Cinema, Toronto

– Landmark Cinema Kanata

– Silver City N. London

– Silver City Hamilton

– International Village, Vancouver

Tickets are available at the box office prior to screenings in your city. Group Tickets: can be purchased by contacting Cineplex directly at: 1-800-313-4461; Email: groupsales@cineplex.com; or by contacting your local theatre.

For questions or general information you may have about release of “BITTER HARVEST” in your city or province, please feel free to contact me directly, by phone: 416 951 8097; or email: john.moskalyk@dfilmscorp.ca .

KINDLY CIRCULATE THIS INFORMATION WIDELY IN YOUR COMMUNITY!!!

IF YOU ARE AT ALL MOVED BY THE FILM “BITTER HARVEST”, YOU ARE KINDLY ENCOURAGED TO VISIT THE SITES ROTTEN TOMATOES AND / OR FANDANGO AND SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS! LINKS PROVIDED BELOW!!!

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/bitter_harvest_2017

https://www.fandango.com/account/joinnow?from=%2fbitterharvest2017_197519%2fwriteuserreviews&action=reviewmovie&source=web_multiple_reviewmovie&id=197519

New Pathway: The movie Bitter Harvest is definitely fulfilling its main mission, to build the global awareness of the Holodomor. It was first premiered a little more than a week ago and the global buzz about it has been strong. Bitter Harvest is being released in hundreds of theaters in about 45 countries, and its trailer on YouTube has been viewed more than 430 thousand times.

On March 2, Bitter Harvest had its Toronto Premiere at the TIFF Bell Lightbox centre. When we arrived, auditorium was packed with the people anxiously awaiting to watch a moving film, as the reviews and comments from the earlier Canadian screenings underscored the film’s emotional impact on the audiences. In his address before the screening, Ukraine’s Ambassador to Canada Andriy Shevchenko grasped the main reason, why the theatre was so full of people, including so many Canadian dignitaries, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland among them, – no one has ever seen a dramatized Holodomor story on the screen before. Bitter Harvest is, strictly speaking, the first feature film ever about one of the biggest tragedies in human history.

The film’s producer, Ian Ihnatowycz, spoke of his wish to make the world aware of the Holodomor which was virtually unknown in the West up until lately. He called the film’s reception during recent red carpet premiers and gala screenings in several countries “encouraging and inspiring.” He said, “This means so much to me on a personal level as I know it does for many members of the cast and crew, whose families were directly affected by this chapter of history, including our director George Mendeluk, whose family were Holodomor victims and survivors.”

We spoke to Mr. Ihnatowycz after the screening and asked for more details about the film’s global launch. Ian Ihnatowycz said, “The reaction is fabulous. We’ve shown the film to think-tanks, government officials, diplomats and just typical movie goers. We’ve shown it in Los Angeles, New York, Washington, Cambridge, London, Kyiv, Lviv, Ottawa, Toronto and we are still going to Brussels. People are moved, we’ve got standing ovations everywhere, people crying. The Ukrainians know about the Holodomor, but most other people did not know, and they were shocked that they didn’t learn about it during their history classes. But they now know and the reaction has been that the film helps us to understand the relationship between Ukraine and Russia, and Russia and the rest of the world today.”

We asked Ian Ihnatowycz to reflect upon the film and he noted it is filled with metaphors: “We bring in Bitter Harvest a lot of maybe, maybe not. There are such historic characters as a Welsh journalist Gareth Jones and Ukrainian writer Mykola Khvyliovyi. For instance, whether it’s Gareth Jones on the train speaking to the main character, Yuri, you need to decide for yourself. That’s the intrigue that we let the viewers think about and the film is very rich that way.”

Bitter Harvest’s director, George Mendeluk, told us that the film had a parallel with his family story as his mother came from Kharkiv, an area heavily affected by the Holodomor. But, at the same time, he said, the film, where the main characters are shown to have a dream to immigrate to Canada, does not encourage Ukrainians to immigrate to Canada now: “That’s not what it is saying: at that historical moment in time my heroes had to do that to survive. But I made this movie to encourage Ukrainians to fight and stay in Ukraine, and preserve their culture.” Is Bitter Harvest a Ukrainian or a global film? George Mendeluk: “I think, both. I think, it’s a hybrid. Some of the critics have criticized it, but I think they don’t get it, because they haven’t seen a picture like this before. It’s too emotional for them.”

After the screening, we spoke to several viewers and asked them one question, “Did they like Bitter Harvest?”

Можливо, Генеральний консул України в Торонто Андрій Веселовський дав найкращу відповідь на це питання, принаймні з позиції українця: “Так не можна говорити, чи сподобався, чи ні. Для українця Голодомор, це настільки болюча рана, що фільм про це не може не заторкнути душу. Це фільм, який знову цю рану ятрить, від якого боляче, але добре, що він є”.

Роман Винницький (LAVA Computers): “Мені фільм сподобався. Я розумію, чому його скритикували західні критики. Він є східно-европейський фільм, він не має блиску і глянцю Голівуду, і то не подобається тим критикам. Фільм трохи скаче з одної теми на іншу, щоби описати історію. Але у зв’язку з цим, я би сказав, що це цікавий фільм”.

Іван Іванюра (Caravan Group): “Враження дуже велике. Тиша у залі після завершення фільму сама говорить за себе”.

Микола Латишко (письменник, свідок Голодомору): “Я маю особисту критику до фільму, але те що зроблено, дякувати Богу, що зроблено, і, я вважаю, гарно зроблено. Відчуття – фільм є сильний, чудовий фільм”.

Yuriy Diakunchak (Head of Marketing, Ukrainian Credit Union Limited): “Brilliant! I loved how they integrated the Holodomor into an actual story that you can watch on a movie screen.”

Марічка Кудрявцева (Lemon Bucket Orkestra): “Це важке питання, фільм не в тій категорії “сподобався/не сподобався”. Те, що зроблений великомасштабний фільм про Україну – вже фантастична подія в історії кінематографа. Це кіно виходить за масштаби себе, воно спеціально створене для того, щоб розказати про Голодомор в світі. Там також є багато деталей, які дуже гарно зроблені, це дуже цікаво помічати. Наприклад, наскільки правдиво підібрані костюми. Я, як етнограф, люблю докопуватися до таких речей, “ага, таке в тому регіоні не носили”, але тут воно з дуже детальним підходом зроблено, я це дуже ціную”.

Борис Вжесневський (депутат федерального Парламенту від Етобіко-Центр): “Фільм надзвичайний. Я не думаю, що хоч одна людина, котра була в театрі, не була зворушена. Цей фільм відкриє віконце сотням тисяч людей, котрі не знали про Голодомор. І артистично, мистецьки надзвичайний фільм”.

James Maloney (MP, Etobicoke Lakeshore): “I liked it very much, I thought it was incredibly well-done. Its part romantic, also very informative and educational, and it’s a movie that all Canadians should see. I just was at a school in Etobicoke, speaking to the Grade 10s, and I picked up their first ever issue of school bulletin and on the front page they had a story about the Holodomor, and I was proud.”

Julie Dzerowicz (MP, Davenport): “It was a very important film to watch. Sometimes you don’t truly understand how awful a genocide is until you see it depicted in the way that Bitter Harvest did. I loved the love story, I loved getting the idea of a Ukrainian village, and then it had a very honest depiction of how millions of Ukrainians died by famine, and it broke my heart. My aunt is the executive director of the Holodomor National Awareness Tour and my uncle is the co-creator of it, it makes me proud.”

Yvan Baker (MPP, Etobicoke Centre): “My grandmother was a survivor of Holodomor and she used to say that she hoped that the victims of Holodomor would not only be remembered, but honoured. And I think this film truly honours their memory. I think the film serves to tell the story of the Holodomor and we have to make sure that as many people see it as possible.”

Yuri Bilinsky (New Pathway, editor): “I gave Bitter Harvest the maximum possible 5 stars on the Rotten Tomatoes and the maximum 10 stars on the IMDb site. On Rotten Tomatoes, Bitter Harvest has a meagre 10% rating. To compare, XXX: Return of Xander Cage has a 44% rating. The XXX film is utterly empty, while, after Bitter Harvest, I could not sleep at night. Bitter Harvest has a 79% audience score on the same site while XXX: Return of Xander Cage has a 47% audience score. I believe those 79% of the Bitter Harvest audience voted for the film because it shook them. Yes, I am a descendant of the Holodomor victims and survivors, and I can’t be objective. But much of the Bitter Harvest’s criticism in the media is groundless. I read this review before the screening (by Jeannette Catsoulis, the New York Times, February 23), “Mr. Mendeluk has … an unfortunate taste for clunky symbolism, zooming in his camera on ominously crushed eyeglasses and a blood-flecked loaf of bread like a spaniel scenting pheasant.” I expected to see awkward scenes with the crushed eyeglasses and a loaf of bread. And I said to myself when I saw them, “These scenes are not awkward at all.” The biggest villains, Stalin (Gary Oliver) and the prison warden Medved (Richard Brake), are depicted brilliantly. Someone said that Stalin never shouted the way he was portrayed to shout in the film. So what? One needs to see Bitter Harvest just to appreciate how Gary Oliver muttered Stalin’s words “Who in the world will know?” While Richard Brake’s display during Yuri’s shooting is probably the most powerful movie scenes I’ve ever seen.”

http://www.bitterharvestfilm.com/

Bitter Harvest SHOWTIMES AT THE HUMBER THEATRE:

Friday: 3:30 / 7:10 / 9:30

Saturday: 12:45 / 3:30 / 7:10 / 9:30

Sunday: 12:45 / 3:30 / 7:10 / 9:30

Monday: 3:30 / 7:10 / 9:30

Tuesday: 3:30 / 7:10 / 9:30

Wednesday: 3:30 / 7:10 / 9:30

Thursday: 3:30 / 7:10 / 9:30

SHOWTIMES AT YONGE & DUNDAS CINEPLEX

Friday, Monday-Thursday
2:35 pm, 5:25 pm, 8:00 pm, 10:40 pm

Saturday
11:45 am, 2:20 pm, 5:20 pm, 7:55 pm, 10:35 pm

Sunday
12:00 noon, 2:35 pm, 5:25 pm, 8:00 pm, 10:40 pm