I am happy to announce that we will be premiering Trek to Bucha in Boston at the place where it all began, Christ the King Ukrainian Catholic Church in Jamaica Plain on September 11th, at 12:30 PM. The film is currently in post-production.
Our film began at Christ the King back in March when I went to the church at the suggestion of the salesclerk at REI in Boston where I was getting outfitted with a new backpack and other gear for my forthcoming trip to Ukraine. When I told the clerk where I was headed, he told me about the church at the center of raising supplies for Ukraine in Boston (See Mass. Ukrainians send money, tactical medicine to battlefield back home | WBUR News). Being unfamiliar with the Ukrainian Catholic Church I just had to go to Jamaica Plain and find out more.
It was there that I met Father Yaroslav and told him about my upcoming trek, which at the time was going to be confined to the western part of the country. He spent time with me and told me about his time as a soviet army doctor while attending seminary underground, a path that could have meant his death if discovered by the Red Army command as the UCC was outlawed under the soviet regime. (See Announcing TheoEco's Ukraine Trek).
After reassuring Fr. Yaroslav that I was committed to going - and of right mind - he encouraged me to go to the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv. I wound up spending several days there as the Russians retreated from Kyiv thereby opening up the possibility for me to go to Kyiv and eventually Bucha. I was able to interview students and faculty alike there, as well as learn about air raid sirens in the school’s basement/bunker. (See Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU) in Lviv (theoeco.org). He also called down a guardian angel and gave me his blessing to help me through the journey. He apparently has a lot of pull with The Spirit as I made it through without a scratch.
I went to see Fr. Yaroslav a couple weeks ago while in Boston and told him of my idea to hold the premiere screening at the church. He couldn’t have been more receptive to the idea as he expressed in his follow up email to me last week, which I just have to share:
Слава Ісусу Христу! Glory to Jesus Christ!
"We will be honored to have the premiere of your documentary film about Ukraine in our parish in September.
"Thank you again for your brave effort and personal commitment to produce the documentary film about the war in Ukraine. Your documentary film will be part of the recorded history about the sacrifice and heroism of the Ukrainian people in defending their freedom, dignity, and sovereignty.
Fr. Yaroslav and Parishioners of Christ the King UCC
So, stay tuned as we put our premiere event together to support Ukraine in as many ways as possible. I am very excited and honored to have this show of support for our film and efforts to bring awareness to what is happening there.
It is an epic struggle that is being fought for freedom loving people everywhere. And what better place to premiere the film than a church in Boston where America’s war for Independence took root almost 250 years ago.