On Saturday Nov 20th, the Connecticut Holodomor Awareness Committee presented a screening of Yurij Luhovy’s film “Okradena Zemlia”.

This award winning film, depicting the tragic Holodomor of 1932-1933, is based on newly released archival material revealing the genocidal intent of Stalin’s policies to forcibly collectivize Ukrainian lands. It includes rare archival footage, eyewitness testimony of survivors, and historical analysis by both Ukrainian and western researchers and scholars. In a moving and painfully graphic narrative it presents and honors the memory of innocent millions whose story, in all its horror and scope, is only now becoming known to the rest of the world.

The Committee was screening this film for several reasons:

• November is traditionally the month when Ukrainians world-wide commemorate and remember the terrible Holodomor tragedy. In light of recent developments in Ukraine it is especially important to continue to do so now.

• One of our goals is to focus on educating and informing our youth about the HOLODOMOR – especially those in high school. A documentary is an excellent
way to teach. To reach the maximum number of students we have scheduled the screenings on Saturday, both during and after Ukrainian School / Ridna Shkola hours. We do this to take maximum advantage of students’ Saturday routines and to provide the most convenient times to view the film. The Hartford and New Haven Schools are both making attendance and viewing mandatory for older classes.
We urge all parents with teen-age children to encourage them to attend this important educational event.

• The documentary itself is an excellent one. The film was produced under the auspices of the World Ukrainian Congress and endorsed by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress.

Yurij Luhovy is an acclaimed documentary producer in Canada. As a member of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television he has done groundbreaking work in documentaries, depicting the sometimes painful experiences of Ukrainian immigrants in Canada. He was one of the Producers as well as an editor of Harvest of Despair , one of the first documentaries on the famine-Genocide of 1932-33 in Soviet Ukraine. This film, produced in 1983 to commemorate the 50th anniversary, received 10 International awards. His current project is to make an English version of this film titled Genocide Revealed. This will become a valuable educational resource for schools as well as the general public.

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