The Canadian journalist who was the first to write about the 1932 genocidal famine in Ukraine — Rhea Clyman — died in New York, in 1981, forgotten. Only recently has her story come to light in the 2018 documentary film, The Hunger for Truth: The Rhea Clyman Story, co-produced by American filmmaker Andrew Tkach and Kyiv-based Babylon 13.
Clyman wrote no less than 22 articles about the Holodomor in Ukraine and in Kuban, which killed 3.9 million people in Ukraine alone. Her punishment for revealing Stalin’s atrocities to the West was to be expelled from the USSR, being labeled a “Bourgeois Troublemaker.”
- Read here about Rhea Clyman and Andrew Tkach with more details: The Hunger for Truth: Documentary about Canadian journalist who was first to report about Holodomor
Andrew Tkach’s documentary does not only tell the story of Rhea Clyman. Using extractions by historian Anne Appelbaum, author of The Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine, as well as several other distinguished Ukrainian historians, the film shows key moments of the Ukrainian struggle for independence over more than 100 years.
The creative use of archival photos, original excerpts from films of the 1930s, and a contemporary Ukrainian music score, combine to convey a visceral experience. Depicted are the Ukrainian revolution in 1918; the Holodomor in 1932; Euromaidan in 2014; and the ongoing five-year war in the Donbas, including interviews with leaders of non-government initiatives supporting Ukraine in the war as well as Ukrainian soldiers.
The first version of the film was released at the end of 2019. However, some stories remained unfinished. In particular, the film featured the story of Ukrainian soldier Serhiy Hlodnar, who was captured by the enemy near Debaltsevo in 2015. In 2019, he was still in captivity and returned home only in a prisoner exchange for New Year 2020.
The new full version of the film includes Hlondar’s interview, sprinkled throughout, and the ending includes the emotional prisoner release and updates on war casualties and prisoners.[editorial]You can watch the film for free on Takflix. The film is available in English on the Vimeo platform. The French version (excluding the segments on contemporary Ukraine) is also available. [/editorial]