( 2022, Ukraine, USA, UK, 118')
“We are defending our freedom.” Thus Ukrainian President Zelensky commented
Putin’s ‘special military operation’ on February 24, 2022, when it was clear that the operation was going to expand more than previously believed. The escalation of
violence jeopardized that right that seemed almost taken for granted in western
democracies: freedom. Freedom on fire is Afineevsky’s daring attempt to provide the
world with the most immediate images of the ongoing conflict. It is an ‘instant’
documentary, that seems to follow the director’s earlier Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s
Fight for Freedom of 2015 in a frightening trajectory of all-encompassing war – hence
the similarity in the titles. In Winter on Fire, Russia was a threat; in Freedom on Fire,
Russia is the sad reality to face off.
Born in Kazan, Soviet Union, in 1972, in a Jewish-Russian family, Evgeny Afineevsky served in the Israeli army before becoming interested in cinema and following his passion to America, where he currently lives. His consecration as a filmmaker came with Winter on Fire, presented at the Venice Film Festival and nominated to the Oscars for Best Documentary. Afineevsky’s documentary production
also includes Cries from Syria (2017) and Francesco (2020).