Oscar-nominated filmmaker Karim Amer (The Square) gains unique access to Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and other key figures in the administration who are fighting to save their country against Russia’s invasion by combatting disinformation.




Karim Amer

Filmmaker Karim Amer bore witness to a freedom fight in The Square (TIFF ’13) and to the rise of propaganda campaigns in The Great Hack. So when Russia’s military escalated a war of aggression in February 2022, he was keenly attuned to how Ukraine would defend itself in the areas of information and diplomacy. In his latest, Amer teams with producers Mike Lerner and Odessa Rae to go behind the scenes with key figures in Ukraine’s government.

Most prominent in the film is Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba as he conducts a shuttle diplomacy with leaders in Washington and Europe. He recalls meeting with US President Joe Biden just before Russia’s invasion and feeling that the US leader was bidding goodbye to the country of Ukraine. But in the early months of battle, the country’s defenders surprised the whole world. Now, Kuleba and his colleagues work tirelessly to regain lost territory, including Crimea, which Russian troops have occupied since 2014.

Other political players give us a range of perspectives on Ukraine’s struggle for survival. Peace negotiator Rustem Umerov, a Crimean Tatar, persists in his work after recovering from a suspected poisoning. Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov focuses on restoring Ukraine’s internet and leading a team to deploy the latest in AI and other technologies. Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk tours cities liberated from Russian occupation, collecting testimonies on the ground.

While the film is rooted in Ukraine’s struggle, it offers wider insights into what it means in today’s world to conduct a war of words.


Official Selection, 2023 Toronto International Film Festival


Sat Sep 09

Scotiabank 4

Sun Sep 10

Scotiabank 8

Sun Sep 10

Scotiabank 5

Wed Sep 13

Scotiabank 8