Standing Ovation in Kyiv for “Okradena Zemlya”

Oles’ Yanchuk (right) speaks at the premiere with organizer Nina Lapchynska

Kost’ Mykhalchenko for New Pathway, Kyiv.

The feature documentary film “Okradena Zemlya” was premiered in Kyiv at “Ukrajins’kyj Dim” (Ukraine House) on Khreshchatyk Street, on November 25, 2016, to a standing ovation. The showing was organized by The National Museum “Memorial to the Victims of Holodomor” together with The Ukrainian Institute of National Memory, as part of the worldwide Holodomor commemorations, held in November.

Official invitations were mailed to various dignitaries, including those who participated in the film and were interviewed in the documentary, such as Ivan Drach, Dr. Hennadij Boriak, Prof. Yurij Shapoval, Prof. Roman Serbyn. Admission being free, volunteers handed out invitations to the general public at the Kyiv Subways and different universities.

Opening remarks at the premiere were given by organizer Nina Lapchynska who is a Head Archivist at the museum. As the tail credits of the film rolled, the audience stood, moved to tears. The showing was followed by Lesia Hasydzhak, general director of the National Museum, who spoke of the importance to continue researching and gathering evidence of the genocide.

Prof. Volodymyr Serhijchuk of the National University of Taras Shevchenko, whose both mother and father were survivors of the famine, and Oles’ Yanchuk of the Dovzhenko Film Studio, were among those who spoke following the film. Both emphasized how powerfully the film captures the broad scope of the genocide and the need to make the documentary available to schools and teachers throughout Ukraine. Film critic Larysa Naumova called it “very powerful”.

Filmmaker Yurij Luhovy, contacted in Montreal, stated, “who would have thought then that eight decades after the famine-genocide, this documentary would be shown in Kyiv, knowing that this whole area was once closed off to the West, gripped in terror as the man-made famine was denied. I am grateful to all that supported making “Okradena Zemlya” and am moved it is so well received”.

“Okradena Zemlya” was produced and directed by Yurij Luhovy, narrated by National Artist of Ukraine Bohdan Beniuk, with music by Kyiv composer Roman Luhovy who attended the premiere.

Filmed in eastern Ukraine, the documentary is based on survivor testimonies, commentaries by historians, declassified Soviet archival documents and rare historical footage. Many areas where the documentary was filmed, are no longer accessible, reduced to rubble by the Russian aggressors in the ongoing war. Once again, evidence of Moscow’s never-ending attempts to destroy the Ukrainian nation.

The English version of the feature documentary (75 mins.) “Genocide Revealed” garnered 12 international awards including Best Historical Film and Best Documentary.

Community support is required to complete the Ukrainian-language Education version of “Okradena Zemlya” for Ukrainian schools. Both shortened school versions (26min and 52mins on one dvd) are done. This version could be made available to Ukrainian schools and educators very shortly with support to help pay the final lab fees. For further information please contact: Yurij Luhovy at mmlinc@hotmail.com, see www.yluhovy.com, or call 514 481 5871.

The feature documentary “Okradena Zemlya” was endorsed by the World Congress of Ukrainians.