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Viewer Advice: Strong impact themes.

Activist and filmmaker George Gittoes follows the frontline artists daring to stand up to the Russian invasions of Ukraine and Afghanistan.

An anti-war film in the tradition of Pablo Picasso’s Guernica as well as John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s ‘Happy Xmas (War Is Over)’, the candid and powerful Ukraine Guernica – Artist War takes us behind the battle lines and into the lives of the artists confronting Russia’s march on Ukraine and Afghanistan following the withdrawal of foreign forces. From the ashes of unspeakable tragedy and destruction, new creative works are born, including projects completed at the former House of Culture in Irpin, Ukraine, and at the Yellow House Art School in Jalalabad, Afghanistan.

Gittoes, a former recipient of the Sydney Peace Prize, has established himself as one of Australia’s most uncompromising artists, activists and documentary makers, with his earlier polemical works addressing US gun violence (White Light, MIFF 2019), life under the Taliban (Snow Monkey, MIFF 2015) and war’s impact on music (Rampage, MIFF 2006). In this latest work, created in collaboration with producer/musician Hellen Rose, he brings his fearless, compassionate eye to a landscape devastated by ongoing atrocities, finding optimism in the process of creation – and in the hope that humanity might put an end to violent conflict.

Director George Gittoes and producer/musician Hellen Rose will be in attendance for the screenings on Saturday 12 and Monday 14 August.