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Holodomor Films to Watch This Fall 2023

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Holodomor90 Staff

The Holodomor, the man-made famine in Ukraine of 1932-1933, stands as one of the darkest chapters in human history. Overlooked after decades of denial by the perpetrators, the Holodomor remains a haunting testament to the devastating consequences of extremist political ideologies. To shed light on this tragic period, we present a curated list of Holodomor films that delve into the Holodomor, offering viewers insight into the time period and the lives affected by this harrowing genocide.

Immersing oneself into the history of Holodomor allows for a deeper understanding of how this genocide affected not only those who perished and who survived but also of world history. Allow yourself to engage in films that acknowledge the destruction and death caused by the Soviet Union and that convey the emotion and pain caused in innocent Ukrainian lives.

Understanding the Holodomor is essential for understanding events today and the resilience of those who endured, preserving the truth for future generations, and fostering global awareness of the human cost of authoritarian regimes. These Holodomor films serve as a stark reminder of the devastating consequences of unchecked political power and the lives lost during the Holodomor.

Top Must Watch Holodomor Films

“Mr. Jones” (2019)

At the forefront of our list is “Mr. Jones,” a film that follows the brave Welsh journalist Gareth Jones as he embarks on a perilous journey to the Soviet Union in 1933. The story of how Jones uncovered the harsh truth about the famine in Ukraine serves as a gripping introduction to the Holodomor. Viewers gain a sense of the challenges faced by those who sought to expose the reality of famine and the importance of truth in the face of oppression.

Where to watch: Hulu, Prime Video, Netflix

“The Guide” (2014)

This Ukrainian drama transcends the boundaries of conventional storytelling, portraying the personal stories that unfold amidst the larger tragedy, fostering a deeper emotional connection to Ukraine’s past.

Where to watch: Netflix, YouTube

“Bitter Harvest” (2017)

Amid the Holodomor’s unforgiving famine, “Bitter Harvest” weaves a poignant love story. By focusing on the struggles of two lovers against the backdrop of Joseph Stalin’s imposed famine, the film humanizes the historical events. Watching “Bitter Harvest” is an invitation to empathize with the human toll of political decisions and the enduring strength of love amidst adversity.

Where to watch: Tubi, Prime Video, Moviefone

Holod – 33: Famine – 33” (1991)

Based on the novel Yellow Prince, by Ukrainian writer Vasyl Barka, the Holodomor film looks at the Famine of 1932-33 in Ukraine through the experiences of a single family.

Where to watch: YouTube

DOCUMENTARIES

“Holodomor: Voices of Survivors” (2015)

This half-hour documentary provides an excellent overview of the Holodomor through excerpts of interviews with Ukrainian Canadian survivors and period photographs.

“Seeds of Hunger” (2022)

This documentary tells the story of Welsh journalist Gareth Jones, who after witnessing the Holodomor, alerts the world, facing lies and Soviet manipulation. This is the story of a mass lie and crime and the power of inquiry and speech against the state apparatus.

Where to watch: YouTube

 “Hunger for Truth: The Rhea Clyman Story” (2018)

This documentary tells the story of the Holodomor through the reporting of fearless journalist Rhea Clyman.

Where to watch: TAKFLIX

“Holodomor: Ukraine’s Genocide of 1932-33″ (2008)

Delving deeper into the historical context and ramifications of the Holodomor, this documentary is an invaluable resource for those seeking a comprehensive understanding of the genocide. By presenting diverse perspectives, the film encourages viewers to critically engage with the complexities of the famine and its lasting effects on Ukraine.

Where to watch: Youtube

The Living (Ukr: Zhyvi)”  (2008)

This Holodomor film centers on Welsh journalist Gareth Jones, witness to the Holodomor in Ukraine, with the recollections of several elderly Holodomor survivors.

Where to watch: YouTube

“Genocide Revealed” (2011)

A documentary based on archival sources, interviews with specialists and witness testimony that makes the case for genocide.

Where to watch: YouTube

“Harvest of Despair” (1985)

This documentary serves as a vital historical record, offering a comprehensive analysis of the political, social, and economic forces that culminated in the Holodomor. Through archival footage and expert insights, “Harvest of Despair” provides viewers with an unfiltered account of the events that transpired, encouraging reflection on the implications of state-induced famine.

Where to watch: Youtube, Prime Video

SHORT FILMS

Covering the Holodomor: Memory Eternal(2016)

This 13-minute video produced by the Canadian Museum for Human Rights focuses on the role of disinformation in the Holodomor and other atrocities.

Where to watch: Vimeo

Holodomor. Cookie(2021)

An animated Holodomor film featuring a Ukrainian traditional lullaby. 

Where to watch: YouTube

In Memory of Konstantyn Bokan (2013)

This Holodomor film (9:25 min.) is built around rare family photos taken by Nikolai Bokan, providing a moving portrait of a family during the Holodomor.

Where to watch: YouTube

90 Years From Holodomor (2023)

Ukrainian histories, literature and language. Celebrating Ukrainian culture and identity from Holodomor in 1932–1933 to present. An animated documentary based on interviews in Ukraine, August 2023.

Where to watch: Vimeo

“My Name is Eugenia Sakevych Dallas” (2023)

This short film presents the story of Eugenia Sakevych-Dallas, a Holodomor survivor who later became a successful model in Europe and the U.S. The visual language of the film is based on the deconstruction of historical and personal photographs together with hand-drawn elements to visually reconstruct Eugenia’s story.

Where to watch: YouTube

Embarking on this cinematic exploration of the Holodomor is not just a journey into the past; it is a call to action in the present. As we bear witness to the resilience of Ukrainians amid the darkness of political oppression, we are reminded of the importance of truth and justice. These Holodomor films demonstrate the consequences of unchecked power and the strength of the human spirit in the face of adversity. By understanding the Holodomor, we equip ourselves with the knowledge and empathy to combat and prevent atrocities in the present.

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