“Bitter Harvest”

The Untold Story of the Holodomor

Bitter Harvest posterBitter Harvest (2017)  First English language feature film that attempts “to bring one of the most tragic pages of Ukrainian history to the big screen

Storyline  from IMDB

“… based on true historical events, BITTER HARVEST conveys the untold story of the Holodomor, the genocidal famine engineered by the tyrant Joseph Stalin. The film displays a powerful tale of love, honour, rebellion and survival at a time when Ukraine was forced to adjust to the horrifying territorial ambitions of the burgeoning Soviet Union. With an exceptional cast of established and rising stars, the film epically recreates one of the most dramatic and dangerous episodes in the history of 20th Century Europe.”

As George Weigel writes in the National Review:

“… Bitter Harvest tries to bring a human texture and a certain comprehensibility to this almost incomprehensible tale of systematic, state-sponsored mass starvation, telling the story of the worst period of the Holodomor (when some 30,000 Ukrainians starved to death every day) through the lives of two young lovers, one of whom is transformed from artist to anti-Soviet partisan in response to the horrors he sees as the starvation policy begins to take its human toll. The film, while perhaps not great cinema, succeeds in personalizing the Holodomor and reminding us that this genocide happened, literally, one person at a time, as an elderly peasant, a child, or a wife and mother each died from state-induced malnutrition and starvation, wasting away to nothingness while Soviet thugs blocked the borders of Ukraine to prevent their escape and ruthlessly expropriated (or destroyed) every possible foodstuff in order to bring Ukraine to heel. Those who want to honor the innocent dead by learning the story of the Holodomor in full would do well to read Robert Conquest’s pioneering study of the Ukrainian terror famine, Harvest of Sorrow, or the more recent Bloodlands, by Timothy Snyder. But for a mass audience, Bitter Harvest will, one hopes, do for the Holodomor what the 1978 television series Holocaust and Stephen Spielberg’s film Schindler’s List did for the Shoah: bring such hard-to-conceive awfulness home, making it real in microcosm.”