- Winds of Change
Ukrainian-Canadian filmmaker and Ryerson University Professor Marusya Bociurkiw (Bodies in Trouble, 1990; The Women Stayed: The Untold Story of the Euromaidan, 2014) follows the progress of the Euromaidan revolution, in which LGBT activists played a significant role. In this moving and incisive documentary, she traces the impact of the Russian occupation of Eastern Ukraine which took place on the heels of this erstwhile hopeful time. From accounts of exile and torture, to stories of resistance, this film shows a side of the conflict in Ukraine the world has not yet seen through interviews with LGBTQ Ukrainians who have suffered displacement, legal harassment, and worse, as Russia imposed its laws against “gay propaganda” on a region still illegally occupied while the world acquiesced to the invasion and its impact on queer people. Since showing excerpts from This is Gay Propaganda: LGBT Rights and the War in Ukraine at a panel in Montréal in 2015, Bociurkiw’s fearless (and fearsome) documentary enjoyed a world premiere in Poland, a Canadian premiere at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival (2015) and has just been screened to communities across Ukraine, where at least once it was met with right-wing hooligan threats. Bociurkiw was continuing to screen the film across Europe and North American in 2017, when it received its Montreal premiere at Concordia with the Queer Media Database Canada-Quebec in March.