When war is called peace, when propaganda is uttered as truth, when hatred is declared love, life itself begins to resemble death. Sergei Loznitsa provides a practical guide to surviving hell. In this case, a hell called Donbass. The Ukrainian region where criminal gangs, local militias and the Russian army fight in the streets. Life suffused with fear and suspicion; what is real and what is fake news?
With actors and locals, Loznitsa recreates videos from YouTube and other social media, confirming again that truth is often stranger than fiction. His episodic fictionalisation, which won Best Director in Cannes Un Certain Regard, underlines the grotesqueness of situations that are already strange and disturbing. Replete with pitch-black humour, Loznitsa shows us his society collapse as absurd comedy slips into absurd tragedy.