The casualties of armed conflicts are inevitably linked to our future, and children are undeniably that future. This documentary feature examines the impact of the war of Donbass on the children and their future. Reports say that the largest number of deaths in the Ukrainian crisis is from the ‘War of Donbass’. UN sources report that more than three thousand civilian casualties so far, in the clashes and bombings between the two sides. The documentary speaks to the victims of shellings; children, parents and teachers who were lucky enough to come out alive, and about fathers, brothers and the little ones who were not as lucky.
‘The Donbass Children’ is a documentary feature from Director Lubomir Dankov. This well-structured feature focuses its attention on the children who have survived the thoughtless violence, and often with unsurmountable losses. A powerful mix of archival footage from the scenes of the shelling, revisiting locations years later documenting the destruction left behind, sets the visual framework to tell the individual stories of the victims. The interviews are casual, but they are also emotionally loaded conversations with those who have suffered an invaluable loss. The filmmaker does not influence the narrative of the interviews in any manner and we get to peep into the souls of the speakers, unhindered. The editor holds on to the shots long enough for us to extract the last drop of emotion from each scene.
The Director makes it very clear early on in the film that the ‘Children of Donbass’, the real victims of the crisis, do not wish to talk about what they have undergone. It is time the civilized society understood that there can be no rational explanation for subjecting children to violence. The film ends by telling us that the next generation seems to have got their priorities, and their future goals right.