2023 Film Series

ASEEES is delighted to announce the film series as part of the 55th Annual ASEEES Convention.

The film screenings are sponsored by Arizona State University's Melikian Center: Russian, Eurasian and East European Studies. Please note that screening times and locations are subject to change.

All films will be screened at the in-person convention in Philadelphia, PA, November 30 - December 3, 2023. 

When Spring Came to Bucha (2022, Ukraine, directed by Mila Teshaeva and Marcus Lenz)

Introduction and Q&A moderated by Vitaly Chernetsky, University of Kansas.

Thursday, November 30, 2023, 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm EST

When Spring Came To Bucha trailer VdR HD from wildfilms on Vimeo.

Russians bombarded Bucha, Borodyanka, Irpin, and other cities in the region following their invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022. By the time they retreated a month later, the damage was huge: buildings had been destroyed and there were corpses lying in the streets. Filmmakers Mila Teshaeva and Marcus Lenz went in immediately, in time to film local people emerging from their shelters, but never showing the actual atrocities. That wasn’t necessary, as the trauma of war is clear to see on everyone’s faces, including those of the volunteers who rushed in from far and wide to help. Over the course of several weeks, the filmmakers follow various residents as they pick themselves up from the smoldering ruins. The dead are identified, debris is cleared, and prosecutors start talking about a war tribunal. At first, all is panic, despair and sadness—accompanied by sheer bafflement that they have been attacked by a country with so many ties to families and friends. But as the first blossoms of spring start appearing, these Ukrainians also reveal their resilience.  

66 mins. Ukrainian and Russian, English subtitles. 


Soviet Camp 0331 (2022, Poland, directed by Grzegorz Czerniak, Jerzy Rohoziński, and Wojciech Saramonowicz)

Introduction by Lydia Hart Roberts, University of California, Los Angeles.
Q&A moderated by Jerzy Rohozinki, Pilecki Institute.

Saturday, December 2, 2023, 4:00 pm - 5:45 pm EST

This is a lesser-known history of the NKVD control filtration camp number 0331 in Kutaisi, Georgia, which operated from 1945-47. Among the prisoners of various nationalities, there were soldiers of the Polish Home Army from the Wilno (modern day Vilnius) region. Due to the horrific conditions and slave labour, the rate of mortality among the prisoners was very high. The basic aim of establishing the camp was to construct the car factory “Kolkhida” which was based entirely on the looted machinery from the German factory Opel. The forced resettlement and forced labour were a form of terror used as a tool by the Soviets and the Russians for over 200 years. These forced deportations lasted until 1952, a year before Stalin’s death.

60 mins. Polish, English subtitles (no subtitles in trailer) 


The Homes We Carry (2022, Germany, directed by Brenda Akele Jorde) 

Introduction by Priscilla Layne, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Evan Torner, University of Cincinnati.
Q&A moderated by Mariana Ivanova, DEFA Film Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Saturday, December 2, 2023, 12:00 pm - 1:45 pm EST

A filmic portrait of a family torn apart by the turmoil of world history between Germany, Mozambique, and South Africa, at the center of which is the Afro-German mother Sarah. She wants her young daughter to have the relationships she lacked as a child, so she travels with her to Africa, where her own father and the child's father are waiting for them. During this visit, Sarah's father, Eulidio, remembers his time as a Mozambican contract worker in East Germany.   

89 mins. German, English subtitles.  


Away (2022, Ukraine, directed by Ruslan Fedotow)  

Introduction and Q&A moderated by Oksana Sarkisova, Central European University.

Friday, December 1, 2023, 10:00 am - 11:45 am EST

Andrii and Alisa, Ukrainian teenagers, have escaped the shelling of their native Kharkiv to Budapest. They hold after-school drawing classes for Ukrainian refugee children and await news from their families back home. News reports and phone calls with family bring the harsh everyday reality of the war into their lives, while their street art protest engages and provokes the passersby. Away won the Best Short Documentary Award at the 35th International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam in 2022.   

28 mins. Ukrainian, Russian, English, and Hungarian, English subtitles. 


Retrospective: Ukrainian-born filmmaker Vyacheslav Vyskovsky (1916-1925, Russian Empire, directed by Vyacheslav Vyskovsky)  

Introduction and Q&A moderated by Olga Kyrylova, University of Kansas.

Friday, December 1, 2023, 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm EST

An archival retrospective of the pioneering Ukrainian-born filmmaker Vyacheslav Vyskovsky (1881-1933) consisting of 4 films:

The Last Tango (1918, Dmitri Kharitonov Production, Moscow – Odesa)
Satan Married Them (1917, Era Film Studio, Russian Empire)
Alim the Crimean Brigand (1916, Drankov Production, Russian Empire)
The Minaret of Death (1925, Bukhkino, Uzbekistan)

101 mins. Ukrainian, Russian, English intertitles.