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Bitter Harvest

The Ukraine. 1933. Stalin's tyranny could destroy their country. But not their love.

Set between the two World Wars and based on historical events, Bitter Harvest conveys the largely unknown story of the Holodomor, the genocidal famine engineered by Joseph Stalin in the Ukraine. Directed by George Mendeluk, the film is an action-packed, dramatic tale of love and the importance of family.

Poster for Bitter HarvestMendeluk, who co-wrote the screenplay, says: ‘I grew up with my mother describing how she and her family survived the terror of the Holodomor, where 7 million people perished as the world looked the other way. Stalin’s long shadow still affects Ukraine today, but our story is essentially one of love triumphing over all that life throws at it.’

Bitter Harvest centres on Yuri (Max Irons), an artistic soul born into a family of Cossack warriors, who struggles to earn the approval of his grandfather Ivan (Terence Stamp) and father Yaroslav (Barry Pepper), and to win the heart of Natalka (Samantha Barks). But Yuri finds his life changed forever with the invasion of the Red Army, and the subsequent persecution of his family and fellow countrymen as Stalin’s reign of terror extends across Eastern Europe.

The film, a powerful tale of love, honour, rebellion and survival set against the horrifying territorial ambitions of the burgeoning Soviet Union, epically recreates one of the most dramatic and dangerous episodes in the history of 20th-century Europe.

– Variety

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