Alisa in Warland
Follow one young filmmaker's journey deep into the heart of the conflict in Ukraine.
As the sun rose to the sounds of gunfire and grenades, the young film student sets out to document the monumental events taking place in Kiev. In the midst of the fighting Alisa meets Stephane, a French journalist. "If it weren't for the revolution, we wouldn't be together. Even our first kiss was on Maidan". Together, the couple set off to Donetsk to report on the budding separatist movement. They are shocked by the strength of anti-Western fervour there. After splitting up, Alisa is taken prisoner and interrogated by pro-Russian paramilitaries.
Undeterred by the trauma of imprisonment, Alisa returns to the frontline, with the notorious far-right Pravy Sektor. "Russia propaganda was making them look evil. Pictured them as bloodthirsty nationalists. But what I saw were ordinary guys". They are amateurish, trying to work artillery from printed paper. "Wikipedia doesn't say anything. We need a real manual", complains one of the soldiers.
Alisa finds kinship and excitement with the Pravy Sektor fighters. Upon her return to Kiev she is already preparing to go back. But her enthusiasm for battle, and her growing passion for the fight worries Stephane. He feels she is overstepping the mark, becoming too involved. "Stop playing at being a soldier. There is no need", snaps Stephane. "What if I become a soldier?" replies Alisa. She is becoming confused about where her allegiances lie.
Alisa In Warland is both a deeply personal story of love in time of war, and a fascinating insight into the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine.