As I sit safely at my computer writing this, I have to constantly remind myself there’s a war going on between Russia and Ukraine. In Oleg Tomachov’s documentary short, Faces of the Resistance, we are given an up-close look at how a country — more a community — stands together to save its homeland.
The premise behind the documentary is inspiring. The film opens with citizen soldiers handed letters from schoolchildren thanking them for their service and hoping they come home soon. The film then goes into the communal effort of Ukrainians to support their troops and ultimately restore their homeland.
One such team is the Pet Rescue Network, which goes into recently destroyed towns and villages looking for dogs, cats, and other pets abandoned or injured during the recent bombing. One heartbreaking moment is the rescue of a cat suffering from shell shock. Volunteers also move in and bring pet food where none can be found or purchased.
“…the communal effort of Ukrainians to support their troops…”
Then a long list of supporters of the war effort is gone over. This includes an army of seamstresses sewing uniforms and other sundries, artists who give voice to their heartbreak when words are hard to come by, chefs who make daily meals for hundreds of soldiers, and support staff. For the citizens, the only form of entertainment is live theater, and we speak to various performance artists who do their part to bring hope and empathy where hope is fleeting. Lastly, some international volunteers have come to teach and train citizen soldiers in not just military-style combat but advanced specialist skills.
Faces of the Resistance shows the incredible access to the resistance movement Tolmachov had. His interviews are heartfelt and heartbreaking at times. Running at just over 30 minutes, his message is clear: there is hope.
I hate to use the term propaganda because of its negative connotations. We don’t exactly know what’s happening in Ukraine, but Faces of the Resistance is a powerful film that gives us that glimmer of hope the Ukrainian people are surviving, standing firm, and maybe having what it takes to win this war.
Faces of the Resistance is available on VOD and for purchase on DVD. For more information, visit the EPF Media website.
"…that glimmer of hope the Ukrainian people are surviving, standing firm..."