Kyiv, July 29, 2014. Today, an award-winning Ukrainian director Evgeny Afineevsky, presented his documentary titled Pray for Ukraine at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. The documentary project records the cataclysmic events, called Euromaidan, that occurred on Maidan Nezalezhnosti Square in central Kyiv from the first day of the protest movement on November 21, 2013 until the collapse of Viktor Yanukovych’s presidency on February 21, 2014. The documentary will premiere at a film festival in Toronto, Canada before it is shown in North America and the rest of the world.
The event at UCMC was opened with a short introduction by Ukraine’s current Minister of Culture and former actor, Yevhen Nyshchuk, who described Maidan as a unique world event, and one that deserves accurate representation in the face of an ongoing information war that distorts the actions and goals of Euromaidan and its supporters. “In the time of the information war, the Kremlin is distorting all of the events because of their capabilities,” he said. Mr. Nyshychuk reminded the attendants of the press conference that the full significance of Maidan is not yet known, and will not be known for yet some time. “Maidan is not yet finished,” he said and “the events in the East are the follow up, and we are fighting for the integrity and justice of our country.”
Director Evgeny Afineevsky expressed his hope that the documentary would accurately convey the events on Maidan as they happened. Pray for Ukraine contains roughly fifty interviews with Maidan activists and witnesses to the events in Kyiv, and does not include commentary from the interviewers or anyone else. This was done in order to make the documentary as authentic as possible, in the voice of those who participated in the event themselves. Mr. Afineevsky added that “it is important to note that the film is not from the point of view of politicians.” Everyone was equal on Maidan and there was no hierarchy. Priests from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyiv Patriarchy described their involvement on Maidan, saying that “they had to become dissidents and witnesses of the events depicted in the film.” Monastic life is “supposed to be peaceful, but we did what we had to do as monks and Christians to serve God and his people.”
A Maidan activist presented Mr. Afineevsky with the Ukrainian flag that was in the possession of Serhiy Nigoyan, the first Maidan activist killed, when he died. The activist told Mr. Afineevsky that Nigoyan would have wanted him to keep the flag, and bring the flag with him around the world as he presents the documentary and the truth about Maidan to foreign audiences.