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Синдром війни. Я звик вбивати

War syndrome. I'm used to killing

85 min

Russian, Ukrainian


Artdoc rating

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Irina is a military nurse who has seen hundreds of deaths at the front. Returning home, she divorced with a man..0 who "cannot understand her desire to help people." They split up after 15 years of marriage. Irina is chased by intrusive memories of shelling, she does not sleep for several days, pulls back into the trenches. Even staying in a psychiatric hospital did not help her come to senses. Irina cannot realize herself: before the war she worked as a fashion designer, and now she is not interested in it. The woman's dream is to die as a heroine, defending her country. The seven-year-old daughter is only one reason why she does not go back to the front again. Irina tries to adapt to the ordinary peaceful life that seems dull and fake to her. Iryna does not want to start new relationships and create her family again as she cannot trust men after the life she has seen at war. Sashko was a mortarman. He got serious contusion trauma. After the treatment at the hospital he got a job at the gas station. His wife Olexadra is a former opera singer. She does not know how to help her husband cope with the post-traumatic syndrome. Sashko suffers from uncontrolled aggression attacks, he uses physical tortures against his wife and daughter. Before returning from war, Sasha had never abused his relatives. He admits that he has serious problems with behavior and they are connected with the front-line past, where he began "like to kill people." Sashko is undergoing medical rehabilitation, he wants to normalize relationships in the family, but he does not know if he will be able to become a normal loving husband again.

The first part of the film depicts the acquaintance between Irina, Sashko and Alexandra during a vacation at the sea. We shoot their thoughts, memories, and hopes for the future. Irina is at the crossroads. On the one hand, she wants to fight again (communicating with Sasha), on the other hand she is inclined to be an ordinary loving mother who brings up her daughter; she has to get rid of the guilt for years spent in the war without her (talking with Alexandra). Both families are spending time at the seaside, until a tragic incident occurs. It turns everything upside down… The second part of the documentary is devoted to the issues of rehabilitation of people suffering from post traumatic disorder syndrome. We will see how the characters’ attitude to the "peaceful world" will change. We focus on their relations and family changes. We will investigate the psychological methods of rehabilitation in different countries. Are they worth applying in Ukraine? However, the main objective of the film is the documentary observation of specific ex-military men struggling with depressive state and the attempt to return them the opportunity to feel happy in ordinary life without a war.

Film crew

Olena Solodovnikova
Yana Gritsenko, Pavel Popkov
Olena Solodovnkova
Linniya Mannergeima Band
Sound producer
Andriy Chupyr


Russian, Ukrainian