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20 DAYS IN MARIUPOL

MUST END THURSDAY, AUGUST 3

12:45   4:35   6:35

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DIRECTED, PRODUCED, AND FILMED BY MSTYSLAV CHERNOV

“A miraculous feat” – Tomris Laffly, Harper’s Bazaar. February 2022: As Russian troops advance on the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, a small crew of Associated Press reporters are trapped amongst the besieged civilian population. 20 DAYS IN MARIUPOL — winner of the 2023 Sundance Audience Award for World Cinema Documentary — is the unflinching visual chronicle of this harrowing ordeal. Ukrainian war correspondent Mstyslav Chernov (he directs, shoots, and narrates) and colleagues are the only international correspondents left in the city, witnesses to the first sighting of a “Z” on a Russian tank (a declaration of war), random shelling, the bombing of a maternity hospital, the digging of mass graves, and Russia’s eventual encirclement of the city. Their images of war crimes would soon go viral, potently exposing Russia’s monstrous lies that deny their targeting of Ukrainian civilians, and earning the AP team two 2023 Pulitzer Prizes: for Public Service Journalism and Breaking News Photography.

Presented with support from the Richard Brick, Geri Ashur, and Sara Bershtel Fund for Social Justice Documentaries

2023     89 MIN.     USA     PBS DISTRIBUTION
IN UKRAINIAN
, ENGLISH & RUSSIAN WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES

   20 DAYS IN MARIUPOL – open captions shows July 14-20  Sat-Sun-Mon: 12:45  Tues: 6:50

Reviews

“ESSENTIAL. Relentless and truly important. Engulfs us in the initial ferocity of Russia’s siege of a city whose name has become a byword for this war’s inhumanity.”
– Jason Farago, The New York Times
Read the full review.

“VITAL. A dizzying reminder of the brutality and banality of war…Mr. Chernov’s stunned, quiet, almost whispery narration makes him a successor to Dante’s Virgil as he steers us through this infernal tableau… This is war in close-up, with its ultimate effects given their due prominence…Astute observations, together with the harrowing imagery, lift 20 DAYS IN MARIUPOL to the ranks of the great war documentaries. It is also a searing drama that radiates suspense…Though Mr. Chernov is modest about his accomplishments, [the film] also constitutes a stirring tribute to his courage and that of his fellow AP journalists on the scene… In an age when journalism is facing rising criticism for grandstanding, massaging facts and naked partisanship, these professionals remind us all that those who gather and disseminate true information and images remain indispensable to any attempt to make sense of the world.”
– Kyle Smith, The Wall Street Journal

“A CHILLING, YOU-ARE-THERE LOOK AT THE UKRAINE WAR. A harrowing testimony to the power, the necessity, and the toll of documenting life in a combat zone…[the film] gives you a sense of life during wartime that isn’t an abstraction, some distant thing happening to people thousands of miles away.”
– David Fear, Rolling Stone

“A brave, visceral, merciless masterpiece. I’ll stake a claim, for what it’s worth: after decades of war reporting, and watching hundreds of films about war, there are few, if any, like this. Chernov’s film documents Russia’s shocking war crimes against Mariupol on a vast, epic scale, in counterpoint to detail so intimate it borders on unbearable, as it should.
– Ed Vulliamy, The Guardian

“An incredible and haunting viewing experience…journalism of this high order (is) equally heroic and selfless… 20 DAYS IN MARIUPOL will undoubtedly be one of the most important films we have about understanding the conflict and its effects on the people of Ukraine.”
– Nick Allen, RogerEbert.com

Pulsating…enthralling. An unflinching look at the true price of Russia’s war on Ukraine...[The film] doesn’t seek to dramatize the tension of war. But it is pretty fucking dramatic… Access and shock value aside, the wholesale dismissal of Chernov’s reporting by the Kremlin is the greatest endorsement there is.”  
– Adam Solomons, IndieWire

“Bears harrowing witness to Russia’s atrocities. Chernov, [acknowledges] the innately exploitive nature of filming the ‘sadistic virus of destruction’ that plagues the city but that his ‘camera will not let him forget.’ Much of the footage of the ongoing destruction imbues 20 DAYS IN MARIUPOL with an urgency and immediacy… Speaks to a country that’s been hit repeatedly for years and whose people almost miraculously continue to tap deep wells of resilience… as they reveal cold, hard, and above all undeniable truths that, as excruciating as that are, could stop this invasion if the world upholds its duty to bear witness to them.”
– Derek Smith, Slant

“Particularly immersive… chronicling the weeks-long siege of the titular Ukrainian city… Capture(s) the shock and agony of the residents. As one doctor comments, war has a tendency to bring out the best and worst in people. The raw footage is largely unembellished, save for Jordan Dykstra’s eerie electronic music score that could easily be appropriated for a horror film (which, of course, 20 DAYS IN MARIUPOL is, of a sort). That immediacy only enhances the documentary’s visceral power.”  
– Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter

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