$20

Event Information

Share this event

Date and Time

Location

Location

3030 Bloor St W

3030 Bloor Street West

Toronto, ON M8X

Canada

View Map

Refund Policy

Refund Policy

No Refunds

Event description

Description

Canada-Ukraine International Assistance Fund invites you to a Canadian premiere of Invisible Battalion, on Sunday, April 22, 2018, 19.00 at Kingsway Theater and Cafe (3030 Bloor St W, Etobicoke, ON M8X 2Y8 ). Invisible Battalion is a documentary about Ukrainian women, taking part in war against Russian occupation of the Donbas. The premiere is the first stop of the North American tour of the documentary. Documentary heroines, directors and a producer will be present at the premiere.

Initially, the project Invisible Battalion set off as a social survey and advocacy campaign to shine the light on gender inequality in the security and defense sector in Ukraine and led to the making of this documentary.

A sociological survey conducted by the Invisible Battalion team in 2016 revealed a number of problems: Ukrainian legislation didn’t allow women to be assigned combat positions, so they were enlisted as cooks, seamstresses, cleaners, accountants etc. while taking part in military combat operations as snipers, grenade launcher operators, reconnaissance soldiers, artillerists etc. This was done on semi-legal grounds. Thus, the majority of women who participated in the Donbas war were not enlisted officially and subsequently had no access to social or military benefits, military awards, social status, or career opportunities in the Armed Forces.
The contribution of women to the defense of the country was and still is invisible to society.

A powerful advocacy campaign for gender equality in the Armed Forces of Ukraine was initiated. Both, as a result of the campaign, and the pressure from the society and different international organizations, the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine expanded the number of military jobs (63 in total) available to women (Directive #292 “On expanding military jobs for soldier, sergeant, and officer staff). However, even now 2/3 of soldier and officer jobs are still unavailable to women. Moreover, women don’t have equal access to military education and careers.

Thus, the Invisible Battalion social project turned into a full-length documentary Invisible Battalion: six stories of six women who were (or are) combatants in the Donbas war. Three female directors – Iryna Tsilyk, Alina Gorlova, and Svitlana Lischynska – offer female perspectives on war that are bluntly honest. This documentary is a female vision of war.

Mariia Berlinska, the creator and producer of Invisible Battalion, outlines the goals of the project: “First, what we had in mind was to record our history and the role our women combatants played in these historical events. Second, we aimed at ruining the bureaucracy wall in the military. This is absolutely appalling to have old Soviet era limitations for women to be part of professional Armed Forces in the XXI century while in the best armies of the world women (from private to general) carry out professional military duties and take part in strategic decision-making in security and defense. Thus, cinema is a perfect means to educate society on these issues. Finally, last, but not least (and a very important one to me personally) reason why we made this film is the fact that we are on the losing side in the information warfare at the moment. This documentary is called to demonstrate it is not civil conflict, but Russian occupation and aggression we have been fighting against for the last four years. The film tells the stories of how our women get killed and wounded, how they fight on par with men, and how they surpass the Russian military. What we need is not “deep concerns”, but real help.”

Oksana Ivantsiv, the executive producer of the documentary, makes the following commentary: “These are the stories of women at war narrated by women directors. It’s a female perspective on war that is traditionally perceived as “the province of men”. The documentary raises a number of issues from legislative limitations for women to serve in the military up to the fact that presently, in Ukraine, there are no women veterans causes, no programs for rehabilitation and support, and society is totally not ready to embrace women who return from war. We hope that our documentary will raise awareness of women’s contribution into maintenance and promotion of peace and security. We also believe that it will contribute to the promotion of high social status of women in the military, and to the changes in legislation that would allow us to have the best military according to the principles of professionalism rather than gender stereotypes.

The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine statistics:

As of 2017, there are ten thousand women in the combatant units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. 639 are women combat officers. As of May 2017, 5 287 women have a “combatant status” since they took part in the ATO military operations in the East of Ukraine. In the course of war, 1857 women were granted various kinds of awards: 84 State Awards (3 of those were awarded posthumously), 507 The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine awards and badges, and 1266 The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine awards, orders, and badges.

Official Trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsGnbaLQ82Y&t=3s

Share with friends

Date and Time

Location

3030 Bloor St W

3030 Bloor Street West

Toronto, ON M8X

Canada

View Map

Refund Policy

No Refunds

Save This Event

Event Saved