About SLAVA UKRAINI by Bernard-Henri Lévy
“Slava Ukraini” was directed by Bernard-Henri Lévy, a French philosopher, writer, and filmmaker. The film’s producer was François Margolin. The film’s score was composed by Sviatoslav Vakarchuk, a Ukrainian singer and leader of the band Okean Elzy (Elza’s Ocean). “Slava Ukraini” chronicles the remarkable counteroffensive of Ukrainian troops and documents the liberation of the city of Kherson and the Kharkiv region. Shot as a travelogue through the country’s conflict zones, the film delves into the political situation in Ukraine – particularly the ongoing invasion by Russia – and the struggle for independence and democracy.
Filmmakers traveled across Ukraine in the accompaniment of a Ukrainian Special Operations Forces (SSO) unit, capturing events in Bakhmut and Lyman, and tracking military conflicts near the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. The film bears witness to the devastation of war through the testimonies of soldiers, frontline chronicles, and portraits of civilians; revealing the struggles that Ukrainian people, those who remain in their home country, must face on a daily basis. The narrative begins in Kharkiv and takes viewers to Kherson, not long after the city’s liberation, with closing scenes shot in the city of Ochakiv.
SLAVA UKRAINI by Bernard-Henri Lévy
Author's Words on Filming the War in Ukraine
“This is not a documentary. Nor is it a historical piece or an official record. It is a committed film, shot on the ground amidst a war that is taking place at Europe’s very doorstep, the outcome of which will determine our future and that of generations to come. We dedicated several months of our lives to produce this film: spending this time on the battlefields, alongside Ukraine’s defenders, or with bombed, massacred and terrorized civilians. Plagued by feelings of rage, pity and fatigue, we also felt undying hope and a swelling faith in one final victory. For us Europeans, Ukrainians are our bulwark. Together with my comrades, we wanted to chronicle and bear witness to their heroic efforts” – Bernard-Henri Lévy.
Writer and director: Bernard-Henri Lévy; Co-director: Marc Roussel; Producer: François Margolin; Advisor: Gilles Hertzog; Cinematography: Marc Roussel, Olivier Jacquin, Yaroslav Prokopenko; Film editor: Olivier Jacquin; Music by: Slava Vakarchuk; Music producers: Slava Vakarchuk, Milos Jelic; Associate producer: Emily Hamilton; Co-producers: Nataliia Gryvniak, Vitaly Saprykin. Special thanks to: Serge Osipenko.