Script and director: Serhyi Lysenko
This film is a director’s memoirs of five-year friendship with a military chaplain Medynsky and his assistant Kalyna. The priest of a small Carpathian village and a farmer’s wife from the Ternopil region became the leaders for many people in Ukraine and abroad during the violent time of war and revolution. They work with soldiers at the frontline, lead civil activism events “in the rear”, organize prayer communities in Europe and America, create art exhibitions out of military artifacts, paint icons, lead public lectures and master-classes.
Chaplain Medynsky and Kalyna don’t have neither money nor power but do believe in the “Ukrainian idea” and have a unique talent to inspire people and change the reality around them. Along with them, we are going to pass through the hottest points of the Russian-Ukrainian war. We will block highways, storm state administrations, defend Ukrainian churches from raider attacks, teach children to paint the muffs with folk ornaments, ring the bells under the sniper fire, confess soldiers and pray for the victory on three continents.
At the same time, we will see the price of that activity: Kalyna’s family falls apart, chaplain’s sons go abroad to find some work, it becomes harder to find the money for gasoline and car repair. We will see how is it hard to be yourself in the modern post-soviet society. There is an eternal conflict between the desire of quiet life and hunger for changes, private and common, ego and society. Within the five-year period, we witness how two ordinary persons lead an invisible struggle for “their own” Ukraine, how do they lose and find strength, faith and inhale to move forward.
Ministry of Culture of Ukraine