OTTAWA – The feature-film “Bitter Harvest,” which is based on the events of the Holodomor, the Famine-Genocide of 1932-1933 in Ukraine, premiered in Canada at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa on February 28.
“Bitter Harvest” takes place in Ukraine during the genocide perpetrated against the Ukrainian people by Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin and his regime. It is a powerful story of love, honor, rebellion and survival, told through the eyes of two young lovers caught in the Holodomor.
Filmed in Ukraine, the film features a stellar cast, led by Max Irons and Samantha Banks and featuring Barry Pepper, Tamer Hassan and Terence Stamp. Director George Mendeluk co-wrote the screenplay with Richard Bachynsky-Hoover.
“Bitter Harvest” was produced by Ian Ihnatowycz, a well-known Ukrainian Canadian community leader, philanthropist and patron of the arts. Mr. Ihnatowycz is vice-chair of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) Advisory Council.
Among those in attendance at the premiere were Holodomor Survivor Dr. Julia Woychyshyn; Ukraine’s Minister of Culture Yevhen Nyschuk; Member of Parliament Borys Wrzesnewskyj (Etobicoke-Center); Ukraine’s Ambassador to Canada Andriy Shevchenko; Ukrainian World Congress President Eugene Czolij; George Mendeluk, director of “Bitter Harvest”; Mark O’Neill, president and CEO of the Canadian Museum of History; Andrew Hladyshevsky, president of the Ukrainian Canadian Foundation of Taras Shevchenko; Paul Grod, national president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress; as well as representatives of many international diplomatic missions in Ottawa.
“My desire in producing Bitter Harvest was to reach the hearts and minds of viewers and draw attention to Ukraine and Ukrainian history,” stated Mr. Ihnatowycz. “The scale and magnitude of the Holodomor – where millions of innocent Ukrainians died in the famine genocide engineered by Joseph Stalin – is a story the world must hear and remember. It is considered one of the greatest crimes against humanity.”
“Thanks to the efforts of Mr. Ihnatowycz and the cast and crew, millions of people in dozens of countries will be able to learn about the Holodomor,” said Mr. Grod. “For too long, this genocide was hidden by the Soviet regime from the world. This moving and poignant film stands as a tribute to the millions of victims of the Holodomor, and to the Ukrainian peoples’ enduring struggle for liberty.”
“Bitter Harvest” premieres in theaters across Canada on March 3. The film is distributed in Canada by D Films; more information can be found on the film’s website by visiting www.bitterharvestfilm.com.