by Erielle Delzer, @ErielleDelzer
Two years, two months, and over 9,000 lives later, the war in eastern Ukraine surges on. International media coverage of the war fluctuates just as the intensity of the battles does; when the war flares up, the region is suddenly illuminated and scrutinized. When the war dwindles and virtually stagnates, however, so does the flood of articles, videos, and think pieces necessary to reinforce aid and support to the region.
Australian war journalist Bryce Wilson has been to the frontlines of the war in Ukraine twice within the past few months. Fueled by frustration due to the lack of coverage in Australian media, he set out to capture the reality of the war -- including the worsening humanitarian crisis that soldiers and civilians alike face. He recounted his experiences and shared his photos with Conflict News in early March of this year.
Since returning to Australia, Bryce has teamed up with Australian visual storytelling agency, PLGRM, to direct and produce a short documentary from the videos he filmed whilst embedded with Ukrainian soldiers in Mariinka and Pisky. The 8 minute documentary features interviews with these soldiers and aid workers as well as a glimpse at the desolate condition the towns have been reduced to.
As the documentary shifts from an aid worker to various soldiers, the individual stories of their experiences in the war worsen. Text flashes across the screen from time to time and brings statistics and facts to the forefront of viewers' minds so that they know the violence has not ended, that humans there are still suffering. To date, the documentary stresses, 2,568 civilians have perished, caught up in the violence and bloodshed in eastern Ukraine.
One soldier in particular seems to encapsulate the war in its brutal totality in a short paragraph.
This coincides with a recent United Nations report that states the situation in eastern Ukraine is "grim."
Bryce intends on embedding with Ukrainian forces again in the future. For now, he hopes his documentary sheds light on the crisis in eastern Ukraine for not only his fellow Australians but also the rest of the world -- especially in a time where media coverage of Ukraine is rather minimal.
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