Twenty-four subjects with different backgrounds, ideologies, interests, and perspectives. Their careers vary from a priest to an ex-soldier, an LGBTQ activist, an underground heavy metal musician, and even a Trump supporter. What unites them all is their birth year: 1991, the onset of Ukraine’s separation from Russia. This potent study of a group of millennials provides a unique view of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict. Filmmaker Christina Tynkevych asks the hard questions: How important is nationalism? Would you die for your country? Faced with a civil war that has divided families and caused immense violence and bloodshed, their answers feel both urgent and cathartic.
The film provides an intriguing snapshot of Ukrainian life as it weaves seamlessly from character to character. With a backdrop that feels frozen in time, aesthetically it could still be 1991. Intimate vignettes depict daily routines, jobs, and hobbies, relaying a sense of continuity and hustle. Despite their determination, the ‘91 cohort shares a thread of nihilism; the pressure of their country’s identity crisis has created a resounding apathy. Frustrated by a gruesome political war that threatens their lives, hopes, and dreams, the perspective they deliver is poignant. On the brink of turning 30, and buckling under the pressure of a system that has never been about them, this film will resonate with members of Generation ‘91 far and wide. -MJ