• Director

    Sergei Loznitsa

  • Producers

    Sergei Loznitsa, Maria Choustova

  • Netherlands-Ukraine 2021. 121min

  • Production company

    ATOMS & VOID

  • Language

    Russian, German

    With English subtitles

Combining documentary materials from both public and private archives in Russia, Germany and Ukraine, Loznitsa recreates the era much in the style of his earlier, Leningrad siege documentary Blockade. The Nazis did not record the execution of more than 33,000 people over the course of just two days, so the film concentrates on the invasion of Ukraine and the evidence, trial and public hanging of the captured perpetrators. There is no commentary – although the film includes a long and powerful text written by Vasily Grossman in 1943 – but the images are bolstered by Vladimir Golovnitski’s innovative sound design (engines, footsteps, voices, a sense of action within silence). Babi Yar. Context’s strength ultimately lies in its observation of what lies behind a society’s veneer and further adds to Loznitsa’s unique and essential exploration of history.

Peter Hames

Contains scenes viewers may find distressing.

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