Since 2014, young Ukrainians have been growing up among ruins, minefields and shelters in war-torn Donbas. For Andriy, Illia, Lera, Liza and Ruslan, the sound of bombing is as commonplace as their dreams of a better life. A turning point in their lives comes when a 73-year-old adventurer and mountaineer invites them on an expedition to the Himalayas. A brief but profound change that allows them to escape reality and recognise and appreciate the fragile beauty of life. But in February 2022, everything changed with the Russian attack on Ukraine.
At the onset of the full-scale invasion, Alisa Kovalenko joined the ranks of the Ukrainian Volunteer Army but later returned to complete this poignant film. Alisa began documenting the war nine years ago, travelling to the most intense points on the front lines. She even fell into Russian captivity near Kramatorsk. The premiere of her debut documentary film, "Alisa in the Warland," occurred at the International Documentary Film Festival IDFA in Amsterdam in 2015.
Kseniya Kharchenko, project manager of the "Documenting Ukraine" programme at the IWM and writer, will moderate the discussion after the screening.