New Canadian movie sheds light on horror of Stalinist Holodomor famine. (Kievpost).
“Bitter Harvest,” the first major movie about the genocidal artificial famine engineered by Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin in the 1930s, comes to cinemas in Ukraine and the U.S. in February 2017.
“Bitter Harvest” tells the story of two villagers, Yuri and Natalka – lovers, whose peaceful life is destroyed by the Soviet authorities, and who battle to survive the artificial famine, known in Ukraine as the Holodomor.
In times when a person could go to jail just for stealing a single ear of corn, Yuri becomes a key figure in the resistance against the Soviet oppressors.
The film shows how Ukrainian villagers were forced to give their whole harvest to the Soviet authorities, being left with no food at all. Those who kept any food were imprisoned or exiled to Siberia. People were also banned from leaving the rural areas so they couldn’t escape the famine.
The estimated number of people in Ukraine who starved to death in 1932-1933 varies from 2 million to 10 million.
Most Ukrainian historians believe that the Holodomor was Stalin’s attempt to strangle Ukraine’s nationalist movement and anti-Soviet protests by villagers.
Despite taking the lives of millions of people, the famine was kept secret by the Soviet authorities and only came to light after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.
“This would mean the death of millions,” a Soviet official says in the movie trailer, planning the starvation.“Who in the world will know?” Stalin replies.
The Ukrainian parliament declared the Holodomor an act of genocide in 2003. The same year, the United Nations issued a declaration that the Holodomor was a Ukrainian national tragedy caused by the totalitarian regime of the Soviet Union. Read the full story here.