“Why did I come here, and what did my friends give their lives for?”
While it would certainly be premature to predict the disintegration of the European Union at this point, the United Kingdom's recent departure from the bloc via "Brexit" referendum certainly casts a dark shadow over the continent's political future.
From Venezuela to Brazil to Argentina, the political left is crumbling, raising real questions about the durability of South America's so-called "Pink Tide." In Caracas, the future of Chávez protégé Nicolás Maduro remains unclear amidst plunging world oil prices, rampant inflation, power shortages and scarcity of basic goods.
The Revolution of Dignity is far from finished. But "Winter on Fire" is a fitting testament to the remarkable Ukrainian people who are determined to finally become a free European nation.
Putting a film festival together is never an easy task. There are flight and hotel arrangements to be made, films to secure from their sales agents, celebrities to invite and locations to be booked.
For Ukrainians, corruption is one of the most pressing problems facing society today. According to the Economist, "weak institutions, low morale, and an underdeveloped sense of public service have made everyone liable to corruption over Ukraine's entire post-Soviet history."
Amidst increasing hostilities in Ukraine, many of the social aims of the Maidan revolution could be lost or simply forgotten. That, at least, is the impression I got from speaking to activists on the independent left circuit, not to be confused with the old Soviet and authoritarian left.
Listen too much to Kremlin pronouncements, and one might get the impression that the Ukrainian government in Kiev is comprised of nothing less than a malevolent and sinister fascist junta.
For the most part, ethnic minorities of Transcarpathia have gotten along with each other in recent years, though the area's delicate social balance could be upset by outsiders like Putin and his nationalist right wing allies in neighboring Hungary.
Sounds romantic and even heroic at times, though the Cossack role in Ukrainian history is hardly what one might call blemish
The Hatchet may be on the opposite end of the political spectrum from the ultra-liberal feminists of Pussy Riot, yet like the women he was silenced for exercising Russia's constitutionally protected right to free speech.
There is no better time for a film festival in Ukraine, even if it would appear to be during such a volatile moment in the country's history.
Were more decision-makers to see and listen to average Ukrainian women, they would hear a consistent complaint: After years of corruption, women want a fair system with economic opportunity.
Despite the centrality of international law to the ongoing crisis, there has been remarkably little substantive discussion regarding the precise conventions, norms, and principles of international law at issue.