Official Oscar© Selection—Ukraine | Best Director Award Winner, 2022 Sundance Film Festival
Klondike tells the story of a Ukranian family living on the border of Russia and Ukraine during the start of the Donbas war in 2014. On July 17 of that year, the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight 17 shocks the world and causes further distress for Irka and Tolik, who are anxiously anticipating the arrival of their first child. Irka refuses to evacuate their family home, even as the village gets captured by armed forces. The lingering rubble of the flight and the seemingly endless procession of mourners emphasize the pain and distress of the moment.
Shot in elaborately choreographed long takes, Klondike is a feat of intricate staging, and Er Gorbach uses unity of space to illustrate the ever-growing divisions among her characters. Tense, haunting, and tragic, this is a truly powerful work of art.
Introduction by Stephen Mull (UVA)