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    Soviet 2.0

    UKRAINE: A brand new film from the grey zone of war in Donetsk, on Ukraine's eastern front, where war has been raging for years.

    World-premiering in the Special Premieres program at this year’s hybrid CPH:DOX, Luca Gennari and Enrico Parenti’s Novorossiya is one tragically timely doc – a snapshot of life on the ground in the Donetsk People’s Republic. It’s a borderland region in which both citizens and soldiers have experienced the Donbass-Ukraine conflict up close and personal; intimately and viscerally bearing witness for the more than 13,000 people who’ve died since the DPR was first established back in 2014 (as onscreen titles tell us from the start).

    Novorossiya, a film by Luca Gennari, Enrico Parenti
    Novorossiya, a film by Luca Gennari, Enrico Parenti

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    Admittedly, in light of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, ongoing as I type, I felt a bit uneasy even viewing the 64-minute film. And likely would not have had the filmmakers been Russian rather than Italian. The reason for my reticence involves POV – as the co-directors have chosen to embed themselves almost exclusively with the separatists and their pro-Russian supporters. Not as sympathizers, however, but as foreign outsiders simply trying to make sense of this hermetically sealed world, which is why I ultimately decided to watch – and am grateful that I did.

    Novorossiya, a film by Luca Gennari, Enrico Parenti
    Novorossiya, a film by Luca Gennari, Enrico Parenti

    Riding along with a battle-hardened soldier the conversation flows. He seems as puzzled by pro-Ukrainian sentiment as we Westerners are . . .

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    Lauren Wissot
    A US-based film critic and journalist, filmmaker and programmer.
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