Espreso. Global

"Songs of Freedom": Ukrainian Eurovision winner shows war realities in new documentary

26 February, 2024 Monday

Starting on March 4, the film will be available in the US on 52 documentary websites. Currently, it is streaming on Voice of America's platforms

The Voice of America has produced a documentary about singer Jamala and the war against Ukraine, Jamala: Songs of Freedom, which had its world premiere on the second anniversary of Russia's full-scale invasion.

Jamala, the acclaimed Ukrainian singer and songwriter, is the winner of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest and the prestigious WIBA World Award. Recognized as one of the foremost influencers in 2022, she also attained a position among the top three global artists featured in the Spotify Equal 2023 playlist. Her latest album, "QIRIM" (Crimea), earned a spot in the top ten albums in Europe, with its songs enjoying widespread rotation in over 15 countries. Demonstrating a deep commitment to her homeland during the ongoing war, Jamala has actively supported and fundraised for the Ukrainian Armed Forces since the initial days of the war.

"February 24, 2022 is the start of what is my struggle," says the singer. 

The film begins with exclusive footage from Jamala's phone showing the events that took place in the first hours of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The journalists seem to be watching Jamala throughout the documentary, recording all the events and consequences of the war against Ukraine, which has been going on for two years. 

"This documentary, initiated by the Voice of America, is not about me, it's about us, about each of us. Every frame of this movie shows what Ukrainians have been going through for two years. It is about the history since the beginning of the full-scale invasion by Russia, about these two years of losses, pain, suffering, expectations and uncertainty. But at the same time, this movie is about our desperate struggle for our freedom. Each of us, in our own place, is trying to do everything in our power to speed up our victory. We donate, raise funds, volunteer, rescue, rebuild, defend... and we will definitely win!" Jamala says about the film.

International viewers can watch the film in English on the Youtube channel of the Voice of America.

The film features videos shot by VOA journalists in Ukraine in cities such as Bucha, Irpin, and Kyiv. The journalists also travel abroad with the singer, where she performs at world venues such as the Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool, the Global Citizens in New York, the Kennedy Center honors in Washington, D.C., and others, as well as raises funds to help Ukraine and tells the world about her homeland.

According to the singer, this film can be on a par with other documentaries about the war against Ukraine, such as 20 Days in Mariupol and The Long Day.

"The beauty of this movie is that it's not a feature film about me, but they [Voice of America journalists] were really watching all the time. I don't even remember when the cameras were there. It's really about observing me during the acts of help," adds Jamala.

"Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, Jamala has really become one of the leading faces of the country and one of the political advocates of the Ukrainian cause," Dean Vuletic, a historian of the Eurovision Song Contest, expressed his opinion about Jamala in the film.

"The fact that Jamala can meet with international audiences at concerts, with politicians and speak in her own voice is really an asset to the world, to the democratic community of nations," adds Orysia Lutsevych, Director of the Ukraine Forum at Chatham House.

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