Shidniy front

Eastern Front
Kyiv, August 24, 2022, Ukraine’s Independence Day. A burnt-out tank on a deserted street. A voiceover tells us: “This is the central axis of the capital of Ukraine. This is Russian military equipment. This is not victory yet.” Half a year has passed since the whole world became aware of Russia’s attack. It actually began in 2014, but many did not perceive it as such at the time. This is also explained by the voice in the commentary that belongs to Vitaly Mansky. The other director, Yevhen Titarenko, captures an insider’s images which reveal precisely what (this) war means. He has been with the “Hospitallers” volunteer medical battalion since 2014 and is now on full duty. He and his eight-person brigade encounter cows that are sinking in mud, dogs that have gone feral and people in close proximity with death. The shift from scenes on the frontline in the east to home leave with the family in the west, where questions are asked and conversations held (and where the men deposit their sperm for posterity), make the scenes on duty seem almost like memories. At times disturbingly raw and direct, yet always enlightening, this film shows in close-up how a nation is fighting for its survival.
by Vitaly Mansky, Yevhen Titarenko Latvia / Czechia / Ukraine / USA 2023 Ukrainian, Russian 98’ Colour World premiere | Documentary Form


Directors Vitaly Mansky, Yevhen Titarenko
Written by Vitaly Mansky
Cinematography Yevhen Titarenko, Ivan Fomichenko
Editing Andrey Paperny
Sound Václav Flegl
Producers Natalia Manskaia, Natalia Khazan
Executive Producer Kenan Aliyev
Co-Producers Filip Remunda, Vít Klusák, Kenan Aliev
Co-Production Hypermarket Film Prag
Current Time TV Washington D.C.

Produced by


Braha Production Company

Vitaly Mansky

Born in Lviv in what is now Ukraine in 1963. He studied at the Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography in Moscow. As a director, he has made over 30 films which have screened and won awards at festivals around the world. He is the founder and was for many years the director of Artdocfest, a festival for experimental Russian-language documentary films. In 2022, the festival ceased its activities due to Russian censorship and the war against Ukraine. Since 2014, he has lived in Riga in Latvia where he founded the international documentary film festival Artdocfest Riga.

Filmography (documentaries)

1988 Boomerang; short documentary 1990 Post; short documentary · Etudes About Love; short documentary, 1990-1993 1991 Lenin’s Body; short documentary 1993 Cuts of a Recurrent War; short documentary 1995 Bliss 1999 Private Chronicles. Monologue 2001 Putin. Leap Year · Yeltsin. Another Life · Gorbachev. After The Empire 2002 Broadway. Black Sea 2003 Anatomy of T.a.T.u. 2005 Gagarin’s Pioneers 2006 Wild, Wild Beach 2008 Dawn / Sunset. Dalai Lama 14 · Virginity 2009 Beginning / Nikolina Gora. Epilogue 2011 Motherland or Death 2013 Pipeline 2014 The Book 2015 Under the Sun 2016 Radinieki (Rodnye (Close Relations)) 2018 Putina liecinieki (Putin’s Witnesses) 2020 Gorbačovs. Paradīze (Gorbachev. Heaven) 2023 2020 · Shidniy front (Eastern Front)

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2023

Yevhen Titarenko

Born in Odesa, Ukraine in 1988, he studied film and television directing at the Mykolaychuk Institute of Visual Arts. Between 2012 and 2014, he ran a production company and film school in the Crimea. When Russia annexed the peninsula in 2014, he went to the frontline as a documentary filmmaker. After being evacuated from Donetsk airport in February 2022, he signed up as a volunteer for the Hospitallers medical battalion.


2015 War for Peace; documentary 2017 Dnipro – forpost Ukrainy (Dnipro – Outpost of Ukraine); short documentary 2018 Shlyahamy geroiv (In the Ways of Heroes); short documentary · Bytva za Dnipro (Battle for the Dnipro); short documentary 2019 Miy drug Frost (My Friend Frost); short documentary · Viter zi shodu (Wind from the East); documentary · Pravednyky (The Righteous); short documentary · Dnipro region (Dnipro Region); short documentary 2021 1990. Prolog (1990. Prologue); documentary, 2 series · Kozacki Pisni. Spadshyna UNESCO (Cossacks Songs. The Heritage of UNESCO); musical film · Chornobyl 35; short documentary · Evacuaciya (The Evacuation); documentary 2023 Shidniy front (Eastern Front); documentary

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2023