Ukrainian film critics have joined the growing chorus of industry voices calling for a comprehensive cultural and economic boycott of Russia in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
In an open letter to The Hollywood ReporterUkrainian film critics, members of the international group of film critics Fipresci, call on the world film community to “refrain from participating in any film or other event organized or financed, directly or indirectly, by the Russian Federation – any participation will legitimize indirectly all the horrors that Ukraine is now experiencing.
More broadly, the group calls for comprehensive economic and military sanctions against Russia, including pushing for international governments to “establish a no-fly zone over Ukraine” to protect against Russian airstrikes, to introduce an embargo on the import of Russian oil and gas. , the freezing of Russian state assets abroad and the closure of ports and airports to Russian ships and planes.
“To stop the war, the world must introduce sanctions with immediate effects,” the group concludes.
In an email to THRYuliia Kowalenko, one of the signatories of the letter, film critic and programmer at the kyiv Docudays UA festival, gave a graphic description of the situation on the ground in Ukraine.
“Only this one night [Tuesday] Kharkiv was bombarded by a Russian vacuum bomb, Zhytomyr – with cruise missiles, Mariupol is besieged, Bucha near kyiv was attacked by the column of military equipment. Russian occupiers bomb regular housing blocks, kindergartens, ambulances – not just military infrastructure. Many civilians and children were killed.
Kowalenko continued, “This war is indescribably disgusting. Usually, as film critics, we all work with precise words and definitions. It’s not a “local conflict”, it’s not a “grey zone”, it’s not a “crisis”, it’s not a “situation”. Everything is clear – this is Russia’s war against the entire sovereign country, Ukraine.
Here is the letter in full:
Ukraine is currently undergoing the unprovoked invasion of Russia.
The Ukrainian branch of FIPRESCI is made up of members from different cities of
Ukraine, including members of territories illegally occupied by Russia
for eight years and constantly repressed for what they are.
Most of these towns have already been bombed by Russian troops and most likely
soon will be. Heavy street fights take place in some of them
including Kyiv. We appeal to our colleagues from FIPRESCI and
literally everyone reading this to actively support Russia’s isolation
until its troops leave the territory of Ukraine within its borders in accordance with the
We ask that you refrain from participating in any film or other organized event,
hosted or funded, directly or indirectly, by the Russian Federation. We urge you
not to participate online or otherwise in film festivals and cultural forums in
the Russian state as members of FIPRESCI. Otherwise, you will be indirectly
legitimize all the horrors that Ukraine is currently undergoing and with which it is struggling
hybrid Russian aggression that it has suffered for eight years. We
ask you not to be silent and to vocally support Ukraine whenever it is
This is a joint message from film critics from Ukraine, including the Ukrainian
The members of the Film Critics Association that we were able to reach. This is only partially due
to the extreme conditions in which we all live and struggle today.