Prize of the Ecumenical Jury, Berlin 2022 (Panorama)

Klondike is set during 2014 at the Russian-Ukrainian border. The film begins when a bomb hits that destroys the wall of Irka’s and Tolik’s house. The destroyed wall opens the view onto the surrounding landscape. The village becomes e theatre of war and Irka and Tolik become witnesses of the passenger plane MH17 that was shot down. The Russian-Urkrainian conflict runs through the family since Irka’s brother suspects Tolik of being a Russian separatist. The pregnant Irka refuses to flee while Tolik does everything to protect his wife and the unborn child.

Klondike shows impressively how private happiness is pulled out of joint through war and violence. The film’s staging is outstanding: It concentrates entirely on the characters whoose room of maneuver is more and more minimized by the conflict. The characters act like on a stage. Thereby the film directs our gaze to the existential question of what is more important: to bring yourself to safety or to hold on to your home, and where you find a prospect for new life (Photo: © Kedr Film)