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Reflection [Vidblysk] cover image

Reflection [Vidblysk] 2021

Recommended with Reservations

Distributed by Film Movement
Produced by Valentyn Vasyanovych
Directed by Valentyn Vasyanovych
Streaming, 125 mins

College - General Adult
Family; War; War Crimes

Date Entered: 08/04/2022

Reviewed by L. Staley, Media Librarian, Renton Technical College

A divorced Ukrainian surgeon goes to war when the Russians invade in 2014. He is captured, tortured, witnesses war crimes, and perhaps commits one himself. He is released as part of a prisoner exchange and now must go back to normal life and his family. The second part of the film deals with his efforts to reintegrate into society and his family, and to process what has happened to him, and what he has done.

This is a memorable, if somewhat challenging, film to watch. The pace is slow. The lighting is often low enough that it can be hard to see what’s happening. The action is almost theater-like; the camera stays in one spot facing straight at the action, throughout almost every scene.

Recommended for large college collections, especially for those with an emphasis on war, psychology, trauma, and parenting. Recommended for mature audiences, especially those with an interest in current events. This is very relevant to events in Ukraine at this time. It would also be a very useful selection in ethics and philosophy classes; it presents some choices, and some responses to those choices, that would provoke discussion in the classroom.

Published and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. Anyone can use these reviews, so long as they comply with the terms of the license.