Ukrainian Documentary Art in War Completes Filming


Germany’s BROADVIEW, Ukraine’s SPACE and the Organization of Ukrainian Producers (OUP) have completed filming for Art in War, which features an exclusive interview with Olena Zelenska, the first lady of Ukraine.

Zelenska’s interview touches upon the changing attitudes of other countries toward Ukrainian art and artists, delving into foreign countries’ support of Ukraine and cultural initiatives aimed at increasing the role of Ukrainian culture in the international arena.

The film also features appearances by the leader of the Antibodies group, Taras Topolia; Ukrainian musician and vocalist of BoomBox, Andrei Khlyvnyuk, known for his performance of “Oh, the Red Viburnum in the Meadow” in central Kyiv in the early days of the war and his joint track with Pink Floyd, “Hey Hey Rise Up”; artist Andrii Yermolenko; warrior artist with the call sign “Picasso,” Volodymyr Bezrukyi; and sculptor Mykhailo Reva. In addition to personal stories, the interviews highlight the changes in Ukrainian art after the full-scale invasion.

The director of Art in War is German essayist and documentarian Philipp Kohlhöfer. The creative team also includes Daryna Anastasieva, cameraman Oleksii Lamakh (Teletriumf Prize winner), Leopold Hoesch (BROADVIEW), Daria Leygonie-Fialko (OUP, SPACE) and Kateryna Laskari (SPACE).

Art in War is slated to debut on ARTE in spring 2023.

“For sure, this film is about Ukrainian art, but it is also about art and war in its broader context,” Kohlhöfer said. “This film is about eternal values. [As long as] a painting could be drawn, a song could be sung, a poem could be written in Ukraine, Ukraine would win this war.”

“War stories do not only consist of numbers of losses, of tanks and ammunition and money spent,” noted BROADVIEW’s Hoesch. “Art itself documents and comments on wars in a way for the world to see and remember for many decades. This is what drove us to financing this documentary.”

“We all know the saying ‘when cannons roar, the muses are silent,’ but this war disproves it,” said Leygonie-Fialko. co-founder of OUP and SPACE. “Art becomes a weapon, a shield and a salvation for people. We want to discover why paintings, sculptures, songs and plays are being created in the most horrible of times.”

Laskari, co-founder of SPACE, added, “Any nation has to go through the path of becoming and self-identification. Art has always been a powerful tool for the identification of who we are. It is the best way to find your voice and show your independence. Our movie is about how Ukrainians are proclaiming to the whole world that we are, we exist, we are a separate nation, and we have something to say to the world.”