By Steve Richards
We had a successful Alabama premiere of the new 1-hour version of Back to Bucha this past Sunday, June 4th at the venerable Wilson Hall Theater at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). The Q&A afterwards included Fr. Roman Nebozhuk online from Kyiv who reported that contrary to what we might surmise from the news the traffic jams are just as bad now as before the full-scale invasion.
Thanks so much to UAH. They provided the theater, the staff, and the energy to make this effort a success. As a donation driven project this help is vital to raising funds for all the non-profits involved: Global Ties Alabama, Project Cherkasy, and Bear Witness. To see the pictures and video from the event visit the facebook page at Back to Bucha – Alabama Premiere & Meeting with the Film Director, June 4 at 1 pm, UAH Wilson Hall | Facebook
Thanks especially to Yaryna Zhurba from Global Ties Alabama who brought it all together. Here’s what she had to say after the screening:
“Thank you for bringing "Back to Bucha" to Huntsville! I enjoyed watching it a lot. The film gives a big desire to go to Ukraine to be part of what's going on there. Luckily I'm going in two days. Otherwise I'd feel very homesick. It provides a true feeling of Ukraine.”
“A film for all generations” her husband told me, and it was a joy to have their children in the audience. I felt like I was at the UCC Cathedral in Kyiv when watching the footage from there not so many Sundays ago. I could also imagine them at the Kindergarten in Kyiv with the other bright and beautiful children who actually enjoy going down to the basement bomb shelter when the sirens wail.
The event also allowed us to honor International Children’s Day. As the film is so much about the moms and children of Ukraine having Ukrainian American children with their mom (and dad) in the audience gave it an extra poignancy for me, especially as Fr. Roman noted the death of a child in Kyiv last week in a missile attack. Ukraine: Russian missile attacks kill a child on International Children’s Day (amnesty.org)
A special shout out to Amit Nepali our intrepid editor who somehow found 20 minutes of cuts from the original film without eliminating any of the interviews. And, of course, Valariia Vovk’s amazing composition is essential to the film and the feelings it evokes.
To commemorate the occasion we are making the film available for free through Sunday June 11th for all to watch.
To view it on Vimeo click here.