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Borodianka on the poster, and the producer made comedies: why the movie "Bucha" outraged Ukrainians and what its creators say

Anna KravchukNews
A scandal erupted around the movie "Bucha"

In the United States, as part of the #ArtAgainstPropaganda project aimed at combating Russian propaganda around the world, the rough footage of the feature drama Bucha was screened. The film tells the story of the atrocities committed by Russian invaders during the occupation of Bucha district in Kyiv region, and is based on the real story of Konstantin Gudauskas, a citizen of Kazakhstan and a resident of Bucha, who did not leave Ukraine after the full-scale invasion but helped evacuate Ukrainians from the occupied territories. However, a scandal erupted online around the movie, or rather the poster for it.

User X (formerly of Twitter) noticed that the poster for the movie titled "Bucha" depicts Borodianka. OBOZ.UA collected comments from Ukrainians on this issue and found out what the accused party says.

Borodianka on the poster, and the producer made comedies: why the movie ''Bucha'' outraged Ukrainians and what its creators say

What is wrong with the movie Bucha, according to the audience?

"A Ukrainian-made film about Bucha. Hi, I'm from Bucha, I lived in the occupation for two weeks until I managed to evacuate, and here's what's wrong with this poster. This is Borodyanka," the Ukrainian woman wrote.

In addition, a resident of Bucha, who saw the atrocities of Russian murderers and terrorists with her own eyes, added the following comment: "For me, it's still a dance on bones."

Borodianka on the poster, and the producer made comedies: why the movie ''Bucha'' outraged Ukrainians and what its creators say

Some potential viewers were also distrustful of the film since its producer and screenwriter, Oleksandr Shchur, is a former employee of Kvartal 95, which produced, among other things, the comedy I, You, He, She.

"The director and producer who previously gave us the comedy Date in Vegas or The Producer... And now, for some reason, these gentlemen have decided to take on such an incredibly complex and delicate topic. Even though almost all directors have an embargo on it nowadays. We are only making documentaries, and we are waiting for a feature film, it's too early. Even very good authors don't know how to approach it," commented Lena Chychenina, a journalist and art critic, on her Facebook page back in September 2022.

Borodianka on the poster, and the producer made comedies: why the movie ''Bucha'' outraged Ukrainians and what its creators say

What the producer says

Let's start with Oleksandr Shchur's answer to the question of why the author of once humorous content took up the task of making a serious movie about the full-scale war that is still going on. In an interview with Detector Media, the producer said that he wanted to do something useful for Ukraine. At first, he actively volunteered, and then he was inspired by the story of Konstantin Gudauskas.

"This story with the movie started when I saw an interview with a real person, Konstantin Gudauskas. It looked like a hi-concept, which is a movie term for an idea that looks very interesting. Our hi-concept is that a native of Kazakhstan saves Ukrainians from Russians. People ask me: there were so many Ukrainians who volunteered, why did you choose this man as the hero of the film – a man who was in prison in Kazakhstan? This is the hi-concept. When Ukrainians rescue Ukrainians, it's normal, it's the way it should be, and no one in the world is surprised. But when a person who could have left on the first day of the war because he has a Kazakh passport but decided to stay, this is an example of the foreigner. Look: when a great evil happens in another country, you cannot stand aside," the producer explained.

As for the scandal with the poster and Borodianka instead of Bucha, Shchur also left a comment on his Facebook page. The producer explained that the events of the film take place throughout the Bucha community. "Abroad, and this drama is primarily intended for a foreign audience, Bucha has become a collective image and symbol of the atrocities of the Russian army in the Kyiv region. In other words, the international community refers to the occupation of Borodianka, Hostomel, and Irpin as "Bucha."

"Are you serious? Do you think that the team that has been working on the movie for two years does not know where Bucha is and where Borodianka is? Do you even know what a movie poster is? Out of respect for Ukraine, the best specialists from AppleTV London helped us to make this English-language poster for free. Not to mention that the film takes place not only in Bucha, but also in Kyiv, Vorzel, Hostomel, Borodianka, and Bucha is a symbol of the genocide of Ukrainians for the whole world," said Shchur.

Borodianka on the poster, and the producer made comedies: why the movie ''Bucha'' outraged Ukrainians and what its creators say

He noted that the film has become an important weapon in the information war with Russia.

"For two weeks now, we have been showing the working materials of the film Bucha in the United States and the United Kingdom to congressmen, senators, ambassadors, and journalists. All of them, absolutely all of them, say that it is very timely and can influence the allocation of 60 billion to Ukraine. They say to distribute your film as soon as possible. Consuls and the ambassador to the United States, the UN Permanent Representative, the Ukrainian Congress, business clubs in London and Ukraine, and a lot of foundations in the United States have seen the film and are helping us. At each screening, we have people from Bucha, Hostomel, and Irpin who thank us for raising this topic. Before that, in Ukraine, we showed our film at private screenings to real prototypes of the film's characters, eyewitnesses, many bloggers and volunteers, military, intelligence officers, and those who went through the entire occupation, and they all say that this is a real and true movie that the world should see. We have been advised and assisted by the GUR, the General Staff, the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the State Film Agency," the producer said.

Borodianka on the poster, and the producer made comedies: why the movie ''Bucha'' outraged Ukrainians and what its creators say

What is the movie "Bucha" about?

The feature drama introduces the viewer to Konstantin Gudauskas, a citizen of Kazakhstan who was granted asylum in Ukraine and lived in Bucha, saving people by taking them out of the occupied territories.

The film stars Polish actor Cezary Lukaszewicz and Ukrainian actor Viacheslav Dovzhenko.

The team was assisted by the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine, the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, the National Police of Ukraine, the Kyiv City Council, and the Kyiv Regional Military Administration. In addition, psychiatrist and clinical psychologist Oleksii Krugliachenko provided consultations during the script development.

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