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The Independent Critic

Janek Ambros
6 Mins.

 "Ukrainians in Exile" a Simple, Mesmerizing Short 

The Morelia International Film Festival will serve as host for the world premiere of Ukrainians in Exile, a simple yet mesmerizing six-minute short film from Janek Ambros and executive produced by Academy Award® winner Janusz Kaminski. When the war broke out in March 2022, filmmaker Janek Ambros headed to the Poland/Ukraine border and shot this short documentary. 

In Ukrainians in Exile, a Ukrainian woman shares  her story and the hopes she has of other countries taking care of those who were forced to leave as we see the refugee crisis on the border town of Przemyśl, Poland. The images captured by Ambros are mesmerizing in their simplicity and innocence. We can't help but be deeply moved as most of us, I think, sit now in the comfort of our own homes aware of how much has unfolded in the months since March. We can't help but wonder about the people we see walking, the children we see playing, and the parents we see unaware of just how much their lives are changing. 

The woman, Anya, is never seen in the film yet her story that narrates the film is unforgettable. She speaks for the most part calmly, though one can hear hints of trepidation in her voice and one longs to somehow know that she is well, or at least as well as can be, with all that has occurred since she shared her story. 

Ukrainians in Exile is a sublime weaving together of image and narration that tells a small piece of the story of the early days of Russia's unprovoked war against Ukraine and the men, women, and children it impacted directly and the border cities attempting to support Ukrainians in Exile. 

Ukrainians in Exile has its world premiere on October 23rd as part of the esteemed Morelia International Film Festival. 

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic