In tiny Stara Zburyevka out in the southern Ukrainian countryside, Viktor and Volodya do their best to sort out local duck thefts, frequent feuding between neighbours and the violent outbursts of the town drunk. The two sheriffs, hired on by Viktor Marunyak, the optimistic and tireless mayor of the village, don’t only smooth out domestic squabbles ¬– they also use their pragmatism to maintain a communal order that is admittedly pretty fragile in the town these days. Here on the edge of an area marked by armed conflict, where the police have long since ceased to patrol, whether through resignation or lack of petrol, the two sheriffs are attempting to hold something small together, in a time when trying to hold the larger context together seems doomed to fail. In a region troubled by unrest and shaken by corruption, where war seems to be drawing closer on TV, it seems more like they are following a calling, devoting themselves to their duties with abandon, than just doing a job.
The film, which won the Special Jury Award at the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam, shows in a tragi-comic fashion how something akin to courage and hope still exists in Ukraine in these trying times, and that resistance can also mean trying to find pragmatic solutions for everyday problems.
Born in 1982 in Kherson, Ukraine. He graduated from the Kiev State University of Theatre, Cinema and TV. He has created a number of short films, documentaries and music videos and also works as an art director and a member of the selection committee for the international human rights documentary film festival Docudays UA. This year he finished his first feature-length documentary UKRAINIAN SHERIFFS.
2007 // RADUNYTSYA / COMMEMORATION DAY (SHORT)
2009 // MMS (SHORT)
2014 //EVROMAIDAN. CHORNOVY MONTAZH / EUROMAIDAN. ROUGH CUT (SHORT, DOC)
2015 // DIXIELAND (DOC)
2015 // UKRAINIAN SHERIFFS (DOC)