‘20 Days in Mariupol’ Director Hopes His Film Can Go Where the News Cycle Can’t

TheWrap magazine: “Even the most important events last for a day or two and then disappear in the sea of other events,” Mstyslav Chernov says

20 Days in Mariupol
"20 Days in Mariupol" (Credit: PBS/Frontline)

Ukrainian photojournalist and novelist Mstyslav Chernov was in Mariupol reporting for the AP when Russian forces launched a siege of that southeastern Ukraine city in early 2022. For three weeks, he filmed in a city under attack, before he and his crew had to flee a place where it had become too dangerous to remain. The footage he shot there forms the basis of “20 Days in Mariupol,” a wrenching documentary that is also the Ukrainian entry in this year’s Oscar race for Best International Feature Film.

At the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, “20 Days” won the audience award in the World Cinema Documentary category.


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