Five Ukrainian siblings and a hopeful journey
March 5th, 2022. Nikopol, Ukraine. It's been 10 days since the start of the Russian invasion. Many children and adolescents are fleeing the country, facing a future full of uncertainty.
The five Smyshliaieu siblings board a bus heading for Barcelona, Spain. The two eldest brothers (16-year-old twins Sasha and Vitalik) have to take care of, protect, and belay the fears of their younger siblings (Denis, and twins Artion and Alona). The siblings are leaving behind their mother Olgawho just gave birth to another childand their stepfather. Once they reach their destination four days later, the siblings are separated and housed by different families.
Barcelona isn't unknown to Sasha and Vitalik. For years they've come in the summer and for Christmas to visit families who treat them like children of their own. They both know the language and even have friends here. Nevertheless, the doubt about when and how the war will end fills their lives here with anguish.
For their younger siblings, everything is new: the trip, the language, the house, the school... Still, they miss their mother and the rest of their family. They secretly listen to the news, worried for those they left behind. Under circumstances like these, adapting is terribly complicated.
This is a moving story of brotherly love under extreme circumstances. Director Fèlix Colomer is highly regarded for his documentaries. He's also the author of "Sasha"; it tells the story of the protagonist of "Fleeing", who was adopted by a Catalan family at eight years old. This exceptional piece was nominated for best documentary at the Gaudí Awards, received a special mention at the Valladolid International Film Festival, and was part of the official selection for the Guadalajara International Film Festival.
This documentary lets the audience experience firsthand the fears and anguish of the protagonists, who are forced to flee their homes. Both harsh and tender, "Fleeing" is a journey that also includes a glimmer of hope.