I am Ukrainian film director Serhiy Bukovsky. I am Russian by birth, born in Bashkiria. My mother—film actress Nina Antonova, People's Artist of Ukraine—is also from Russia. As is my father, film director Anatoly Bukovsky, who is from Balashov. All my life I have lived in Kyiv; it is my hometown. Ukraine is my Motherland.
I don't care how Putin departs from this world, whether it’s by a shot to the head or strangulation by a scarf. One way or another, the end is near.
But I do care — actually I am terrified — that my cousins from Moscow sent a cheerful computer postcard to wish my mother and my wife a happy International Women’s Day on March 8, with the wishes of a peaceful sky above our heads. They, like millions of other citizens of the Russian Federation, have been brainwashed — or perhaps I should say their brains have been completely washed out.
Billions of Putin's dollars have been purposefully spent to do this. And the Russian cultural sphere was engaged in this work, including the cinema—"the most important of all arts," according to Lenin.
I know for certain that beginning in 2014, the Russian Federation has produced films focusing on the Russian troops—the heroes—coming to liberate the people of Crimea and Donbass from Ukrainian nationalists. Film actor Porechenkov personally came to support the Russian army in the artificially created Lugansk People’s Republic/Donetsk People’s Republic and even practiced shooting a gun at the same time.
14 years ago, my film crew and I created the film The Living about the Ukrainian famine — Holodomor — of 1932–33, the genocide of the Ukrainian people committed by Russia with silent support of the majority of its people. In our extensive research, we discovered that the embassies of foreign countries informed their governments about what was happening in Ukraine. Evidence includes excerpts from the documents heard in our film in their original languages: Italian, French, Polish.
Welsh journalist Gareth Jones paid with his life for telling Europe and America about this atrocity. But nobody wanted to hear it.
During that time, Bernard Shaw visited the USSR.
In the 1950s, Paul Robeson came to perform for Soviet youth.
In more recent years, Sharon Stone was photographed with Putin.
In 2017, Oliver Stone interviewed Putin for his film Know Your Enemy.
Is this not in support of Russian culture?
And last year, in 2021, the Cannes Film Festival celebrated the work about Babi Yar by director Loznitsa, allegedly a Ukrainian director, filled with the narrative accusing my people—the people of Ukraine—of collaboration in the mass killings of Jewish population.
The world still doesn’t see Ukraine as a separate, independent country, even after 30 years — a country with an ancient cultural heritage, past and present cultural icons. The world knows nothing about the generation of Ukrainian avant-garde artists executed by Stalin in the 1930s. The name of Valentyn Silvestrov is known to many in the Western world, but almost no one knows he is a Ukrainian composer.
But listen and watch: We exist!
Do not be complicit to these atrocities. Stop blinding your audiences by the presence of current Russian culture in the world. Everyone is responsible for their country’s actions, including filmmakers.
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