“Although I had fancied myself as a history buff… I had never before heard of Holodomor or any genocide or famine in Ukraine. I was also surprised… that nobody I knew had ever heard of it either,” says Leigh, who worked with Tomkiw on the movie over the course of the past five years.
This avant-garde, captivating, high-strung and graphic piece of art is comprised of interviews and accounts of the genocide survivors and eyewitnesses of the horrific event. Using real-life stories Leigh and Tomkiw do an exceptional job of showing why the Holodomor was genocide and not simply a famine. Thus, the film is organized on the five principles of the United Nation’s definition of genocide, credited to Rafael Lemkin.
The man-made famine, perpetrated by Stalin, the Ukrainian Holodomor is a malicious calamity of the death of millions of people. Stalin believed that Ukraine was a crucial problem that Moscow had to “solve.” Thus, the Soviet rulers tried to demolish the will of independent peasants with the most inhumane means on par Hitler’s Holocaust.