“Erase the Nation”, directed by Tomasz Grzywaczewski, is a documentary showing the destruction of Ukraine’s cultural heritage by Russian Federation troops since the invasion began on February 24, 2022. This powerful film highlights the devastation inflicted on museums, monuments, archaeological sites and sacred places such as the cathedral in Odessa, all ruthlessly destroyed by Russian forces who are trying to rewrite history in the name of the chauvinist ideology of “Great Russia”. It also presents statements by Ukrainian cultural representatives that paint a picture of a deliberate struggle by barbaric invaders against Ukrainian identity.
However, “Erase the Nation” doesn’t just capture the destruction. It also reveals the resilience and determination of individuals from the world of culture who are working hard to preserve our common heritage or choose to stand up and join the fight for their homeland. The film pays tribute to these brave souls, emphasizing that those who perished in the conflict would never have the chance to compose new songs, direct new films, or craft new poetry.
“Erase the Nation” is a testament to the enduring power of culture, which proves stronger than the hatred of barbarism. It underscores how even in the face of devastation, the spirit of art and heritage can shine through, offering hope and a path toward restoration. As the National Institute of Cultural Heritage (NID), a body that commissioned the film, wrote, it also presents ways of securing and trying to protect the destroyed objects, as well as the scale of assistance that is and will be needed to protect and restore the cultural heritage located in Ukraine.
“Erase the Nation” will be screened in UW Communications Bldg. room 120 on November 30th at 6:30pm.
More: about Tomasz Grzywaczewski