Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24th, 2022 caught the world by surprise and seized our attention, but the war’s roots were laid far earlier. Filmed over eight years, A Rising Fury tracks the evolution of the conflict in Ukraine, from the 2013 Maidan Revolution in Kyiv, Ukraine to today. The documentary intimately accompanies Pavlo, a young idealist who enlists in the Ukrainian army to defend his country following Russia’s invasion of the Donbas and Crimea regions in 2014. In this vicious struggle between two culturally intertwined nations where friends can suddenly become foes, Pavlo finds himself on the opposite side of the battlefield from many he once considered allies as he fervently acts to defend his country’s independence, sovereignty, and democracy.
From expansive, deadly firefights to personal moments of intimacy, Directors Lesya Kalynska and Ruslan Batytskyi drop viewers directly into the front lines of the war with a boots-on-the-ground view, allowing us to bear witness to a bloody and impassioned act of resistance to an invasion that is tearing both country and family apart. —Julien Devlin