Generation Ukraine – A film about light, made in the darkness. People say that youth is our best time ever. We are meant to live a life full of new experiences and adventures, fall in love, make mistakes, and succeed. But what if meanwhile our homeland is attacked by a neighbouring country?

Generation Ukraine – a Minimal Movie documentary | Directed and produced by Roman Blazhan and Mykhaylo Volkov | Funded in the framework of Generation Europe – The Academy | Line producer: Katia Henrikh

Millions of young people in Ukraine are suffering the consequences of the Russian invasion. Many had to leave the country or were internally displaced. Others have remained where they live and work, facing an everyday life full of contradictions, challenges, hopes and fears.

This documentary takes a close and intimate look at the lives of the young Ukrainian generation in times of war. The story is told by Katia Henrikh, a young youth worker from Chernivtsi who left the country immediately after the Russian invasion began. Nine months later she returned to shoot this film together with the Kyiv based production company Minimal Movie.

The results are impressive portraits of young people from Ukraine, showing the power of civilian resilience and empathy in shaken times. How do we react when our whole world is torn apart overnight, and we are suddenly forced to fight for our very own dignity and independence? By exploring personal answers to these questions, the film achieves something extraordinary. It sends out a message of hope and solidarity – as a testimony of light in times of darkness.

Generation Ukraine is funded and produced in the framework of Generation Europe – The Academy, an international network of youth work organisations and a funding programme for European cooperation. 40 organisations from 14 European countries are taking part. The programme is coordinated and facilitated by the International Association for Education and Exchange (IBB e.V.) based in Dortmund, Germany.

Within this large network of European youth cooperation, the participating organisations will host community screenings, discussions and social events – to to make the young voices from Ukraine heard, and to open a discourse about the role of our civil societies in times of war. To shape this process, IBB has been working with project partners to develop a set of pedagogical tools and methods for engaging with the topics of the documentary. These methods can be implemented locally on events in the 14 participating countries.

Minimal Movie is a Ukrainian production company based in downtown Kyiv. They tell visually engaging stories, challenging public opinion, examining issues of memory and identity.