On July 17, 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down over Eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board. While worldwide shock was immediate, failure to lay categorical blame would only amplify the tragedy. Filmmaker Roman Liubyi meticulously presents the intercepted radio communications, uploaded videos, and irrefutable evidence of Russia’s guilt. But it is the film’s artful meditation on Russia’s incredible denials that powers its real indictment—by not immediately holding the guilty accountable and by allowing a Dutch court to provide the only international reprisal of the Russian state eight years later, the international community tacitly allowed the war in Ukraine to continue. From sombre dance sequences at the plane’s wreckage to a recurring vignette of a child’s hands playing with butterfly-shaped shrapnel, Liubyi sounds the alarm over what should have been the world’s wake-up call to a war that was already underway. Myrocia Watamaniuk
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