Ukrainian Sheriffs had it’s world premiere at the Competition for Feature-Length Documentary at IDFA 2015, where it received the Special Jury Award.
Like a bird, the Ukrainian flag flies along perched on the car of two affable “sheriffs” deputized by the mayor of a village in southern Ukraine. There’s a sly bum whose gift is not to work. There’s a guy who puts an anaconda in his woman’s shed. The advent of Euromaidan, and draft-dodgers abound. Town folks are dipping in icy water and laughing, but are they divided in their loyalty?
These sheriffs are taking you along for the ride..
Director Roman Bondarchuk: “The first day I met the sheriffs, I thought I was at the perfect casting for a fiction film – one guy looking like Tony Soprano, the other like Chuck Norris. They fascinated me from the start. In a country where everything is corrupted, authorities are not working correctly and the police never shows up, these people were not complaining, but found an alternative way to arrange their life. I discovered another universe with it’s own morality, believes and fears, sometimes absurd but very human. Slowly it came to me that life in this village is full of paradoxes, but also is a great reflection of my country, on a smaller scale. There is a pro-Russian separatist living in the village, constantly challenging the mayor over power. Villagers afraid of war, but at the same time drawn to it. In the end, everybody tries to deal with the new reality on their own, like all Ukrainians do now.”
Director – Roman Bondarchuk
Production – Uldis Cekulis for VFS Films, Darya Averchenko for SOUTH, Tanja Georgieva for Taskovski Films
Cinematography – Roman Bondarchuk
Screenplay – Darya Averchenko
Editing – Roman Bondarchuk, Kateryna Gornostai
Sound – Boris Peter
Sound Design – Boris Peter
Music – Anton Baibakov