IDFA - Like Dew in the Sun

Documentary filmmaker Peter Entell is the engaged outsider as he asks why Ukraine, the land of his forebears, is so often embroiled in war.

The father of documentary filmmaker Peter Entell was born in Ukraine, but in 1914, at the age of two, he fled the war-torn country with his parents. On his first visit there, Entell asks a soldier to whom he has just shown a childhood picture of his father why there’s so much misery in the country. The soldier cannot answer. Entell is trying to track down his Jewish forebears, and along the way he sees how the ongoing civil war is ripping the country apart. Sometimes, he even gets breathtakingly close to the heat of battle.

Operating as an engaged outsider, he mingles with both pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian nationalists, talks with victims on both sides and reserves judgment at all times. This war, like others before it, leaves only losers. In Ukraine it has left deep divisions along ethnic and religious lines – each group harbors its own traumas and is accumulating new ones.