Alina Gorlova


Documenting Ukraine Grants

The Heritage

Director Alina Gorlova and colleagues are following the legal proceedings against Russian soldiers who killed and committed different premeditated acts of violence, in order to create a collective portrait of the enemy in contrast to the consequences of this war. The film looks at the personal stories of Ukrainians who have faced uncontrolled hatred in an exploration of the nature of human violence. The filmmakers are seeking to capture the reasons for actions that seem beyond human understanding.
The crew has documented the mass graves and the burials of around 1,000 civilians. Relatives come to the graveyard in search of their loved ones. The bodies of those killed by the occupiers become proof of atrocities, objects of the struggles of those who survived and are striving to commemorate their loved ones, thereby constructing collective memory. The film's dramaturgy is based on the idea that war fades physically but lives on in people's memories. The filmmakers are tracking several war-torn cities and locations, capturing them immediately after hostilities cease and then returning to them later to see how they’ve changed and how spaces recently occupied by war struggle to slowly get back to some kind of peaceful life. It has now become routine to see buildings that would have struck viewers as horrific a few months ago have. Sometimes it’s visible how quickly nature overtakes this rubble and burnt hardware. This story is about the flow of time and the will of life that defeats war and death. While the physical consequences of war change or disappear quickly, they remain in human memory much longer.