Set in 1930s Ukraine, as Stalin advances the ambitions of communists in the Kremlin, young artist Yuri battles to save his lover Natalka from the Holodomor, the death-by-starvation program that ultimately killed millions of Ukrainians.
Set between the two World Wars and based on true historical events, BITTER HARVEST conveys the untold story of the Holodomor, the genocidal famine engineered by the tyrant Joseph Stalin. The film displays a powerful tale of love, honour, rebellion and survival at a time when Ukraine was forced to adjust to the horrifying territorial ambitions of the burgeoning Soviet Union. With an exceptional cast of established and rising stars, the film epically recreates one of the most dramatic and dangerous episodes in the history of 20th Century Europe.
I watched this film alone and tears came dripping down almost throughout the film. For the first time in my life, I wish that the German were victorious and that the Russians would experience what it meant to be under brutal oppression.
Going back to the film, true, it is far from being a classic but perhaps this is exactly why it is so convincing: simplicity with no elaborate story-telling. Samantha Barks is wonderful, as expected. The shooting too, is moving, breath-taking even.
It is a film that I will not forget for the rest of my life, nor the message behind it: unless we allow them to, no body can take away our freedom.
And we are not going to allow them.
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