The documentary film “Cities and Their Heroes” about Kharkiv volunteers presented in Kharkiv

06 June 2023

With the assistance of the USAID Economic Resilience Activity, the premiere of the film series of six documentaries “Cities and their Heroes” was held in Kharkiv. The goal of the project is to show thetruth about the heroism of the Ukrainian people and the transformation of an ordinary person into a real hero. As part of the project, documentary films about Ukrainian cities and their residents, as well as a thematic photo exhibition with the works of leading Ukrainian photographers, will be shown throughout Ukraine.

In the film, anactress of the Puppet Theater Olena Ozerova tells the story about the creative fighting spirit of Kharkiv. Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, Olena has exchanged her cozy apartment for the premises of the theater, which has turned into a humanitarian center.

The film “Cities and their heroes” was presented at the YermilovCentre in Kharkiv. The audience watched it in complete silence, many with tears in their eyes. The heroine of the film, Olena Ozerova, did not hold back her emotions either.

“When I watched the film, I recalled the period of the first months of the full-scale war. It is good that we will have such a memory of those events that cannot be forgotten and cannot be forgiven. We must fight on,” Olena said after the show.

The director of the film, Olga Hibelinda, noted that Kharkiv is a very symbolic city for her:

“This is a very proud and very sincere city. In our film, I wanted to convey precisely these features of it. I am proud of Kharkiv and the people who live there.”

Denys Bloshchynskyi, the initiator of the project “Cities and their Heroes”, noted: this project is primarily about humanity.

“The heroism of Ukrainians is our extraordinary ability to remain human in any circumstances. In our project, we talk about such heroes. Real modern heroes are now born in a moment – sometimes accidentally, situationally, but they become the ones who take responsibility. They just do it. They protect the Human Being in themselves. And it is this Human Being who wins this war,” says Bloshchynskyi.

During the week leading up to the premiere, a photo exhibition of photos from various Ukrainian cities affected by the Russia’s invasion – city landscapes and individual objects, as well as photos of city residents who played an important role in protecting their region from the Russia’s invaders –  was held in Kharkiv.

The heroes of the photo exhibition from Kharkiv were, in particular, a musician, a poet and a volunteer Oleh Kadanov, Tetiana Pylypchuk from the Kharkiv LitMuseum (Literature Museum), Kharkiv’s most famous guide Maksym Rozenfeld, a producer and a volunteer Meriam Yol, a cook Mykyta Virchenko, an artist Mykola Kolomiets, and other townspeople who were transformed by the war and became  real heroes.

In the project “Cities and their Heroes”, in each of the 6 cities of Kharkiv, Mykolaiv, Chernihiv, Okhtyrka, Bashtanka, and Ivankiv, a hero was chosen for the documentary film about the city. Each film reveals its own page of volunteering, efficiency, and love for one’s country by Ukrainians.

The film has already been presented in Bashtanka, Okhtyrka,  Ivankiv, and Kharkiv. Then, the project will be shown in Mykolaiv, Chernihiv, Kyiv and Lviv.