A war frozen in time

    UKRAINE: French war journalist Loup Bureau directs an immersive cinematic journey through the last conflict on European soil.
    Director: Loup Bureau
    Producer: Caroline Nataf
    Country: France

    Russian president Vladimir Putin’s amassing of tens of thousands of troops on the border of Ukraine in recent weeks has stirred unease in the region and prompted alarmed headlines across the world. It presents the possibility of an outright invasion and a stark escalation of the conflict that has been simmering for years, as Russia makes hard demands that Ukraine is blocked from joining the military alliance NATO.

    Trenches, a film by Loup Bureau
    Trenches, a film by Loup Bureau

    What war means

    War broke out after Ukraine’s president Yanukovych was overthrown in 2014’s Maidan revolution, and Russia sent troops to the Donbas to support separatists. A shaky ceasefire followed, with frequent violations and skirmishes, meaning the warzone never dissolved. French war journalist Loup Bureau’s debut film Trenches, which screens at Helsinki documentary festival DocPoint, observes what daily life was like for a Ukrainian military unit on the frontline trenches near the town of Svitlodorsk prior to this recent intensification of tensions and hints at what the war means for a young generation of soldiers.

    «This place is nerve-wracking,» says one soldier of the limited shelter and safety they subsist in from the range of enemy bombardments. While they have constructed cover, high-calibre weapons can . . .

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    Carmen Gray
    Freelance film critic and regular contributor to Modern Times Review.
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