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still from United We Stand (Musicians in Times of War) (David van Tijn, NL 2022)

United We Stand (Musicians in Times of War)

David van Tijn / NL, 2022 / 73 min.

Maya Fridman, a Russian cellist has – since the war started on 24 February 2022 – worked almost non-stop to support the Ukrainian people. She has collected hundreds of thousands of euros through her benefit concerts. Portrait of a musician taking a stand against Putin’s genocidal war.

poster United We Stand (Musicians in Times of War) (David van Tijn, NL 2022)

That art and politics are not separate realms became apparent when Putin announced he wanted to wipe the sovereign state of Ukraine off the map and denied the existence of the Ukrainian culture. Ukrainians have to speak Russian and become part of Russia’s culture (again), and extreme violence will be used to achieve this.

Maya Fridman, a Russian cellist living in Amsterdam, has supported the Ukrainian people almost non-stop since 24 February 2022, together with predominantly Ukrainian and Russian musicians. Ukrainian pianist Anna Fedorova and percussionist Konstantyn Napolov and the world-famous Latvian cellist Mischa Maisky helped Fridman perform a series of benefit concerts.


In United We Stand, documentary director David van Tijn follows Fridman and her musicians from the start of the war in Ukraine. Van Tijn filmed the preparations, rehearsals and concerts as well as interviewing a number of the musicians. He also filmed a meeting between Fridman and master pianist Evgeny Kissin, who, of all Russian musicians, has spoken out most sharply against Putin.

“This war first and foremostly takes aim at our culture, our history, identity, our right to exist,” says Konstantyn Napolov. “Putin wants to erase the Ukrainian people from history."


Before the screening of United We Stand, you can watch the short film Metamorfoza (6') from the Eye collection. The theme of 'hidden truth' is central to Martha Colburn's film Metamorfoza. Created using stop-frame animation, this film features puppets, sets and found footage and is accompanied by Juan Felipe Waller's composition. The film was made possible in part by Collection de Bruin-Heijn (Cees and Inge de Bruin-Heijn / Aveline de Bruin, curator) and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra (Hans Waege, general director).


This movie is suitable for all ages


David van Tijn

Production year




Original title

United We Stand (Musicians in Times of War)


73 min.







still from United We Stand (Musicians in Times of War) (David van Tijn, NL 2022)
still from United We Stand (Musicians in Times of War) (David van Tijn, NL 2022)
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