Past screening

Iron Butterflies

Directed by: Roman Liubyi
Runtime: 1h 24min Certificate: PG


Directed by: Roman Liubyi
Runtime: 1h 24min Certificate: PG
Topics: Sociopolitical
Last Screened: Sat 6th Apr 2024

On July 17, 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down by Russian forces over eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board.

The reality of this attack, and its possible ramifications for the then-ongoing war in Donbas and the West’s relationship with Russia, was immediately denied by the Russian government and media. As voluminous evidence — including physical artefacts like the butterfly-shaped shrapnel found in the bodies of the pilots — piled up, the lies denying reality only became more outlandish and incredible.

In a world where violence can only be defended by lies, and lies only maintained by violence, Iron Butterflies presents the truth of what happened to MH17, but also what was at stake by not confronting it. Director Roman Liubyi uses a wealth of visual material and individual testimonies to craft this artful yet evidence-driven examination of a turning point in recent world history.

This act of mass murder not only destroyed so many people’s lives and the possible futures that they could have built — it contained the seeds of the future we now live in.

Presented in partnership with the Ukrainian Institute London and Docudays UAas part of Ukrainian Season: People Power.

The screening on Saturday the 6th of April was followed by a Q&A with director Roman Liubyi and producer/cinematographer Andrii Kotliar. Hosted by curator Olga Sidorushkina.