In The Rearview
In a volunteer aid van occupied by multiple generations of Ukrainian civilians, an authentic, intimate observation of the war in Ukraine unfolds. Each passenger is unique in age, origin, and circumstance, but alike in where they find themselves — huddled together in a cramped back seat as the war that forced them to flee their homes unfolds around them. Bound for Poland and shot almost entirely inside filmmaker/driver Maciek Hamela's van, the vehicle operates as shelter, waiting room, hospital and confessional in equal measure. Using "the power of protest through personal filmmaking instead of blunt messaging" (RogerEbert.com), In the Rearview creates a collective portrait of those most vulnerable in this ongoing geopolitical struggle.
- "Respectful, frank and moving, this is a small film with a devastating impact."
- "As a mode of witnessing the horrors of war, the documentary is both subtle and remarkable, and because of its carefully honed editing and simplistic yet effective structure, we’re granted unique insight into the lives and stories of these individuals too easily thought of as background players in a larger geopolitical struggle. “In the Rearview” lets us see clearly what’s so often obscured. "
- "A mesmerizing film."
- "Hamela’s film takes on the power of protest through personal filmmaking instead of blunt messaging."
- "An extraordinary film."
- "A refreshing and candid snapshot of the normal and the horrific. Once it starts, it will overcome any hesitation from war-weary, burned-out audiences."
- "Director Maciek Hamela makes a fair argument that one can comfortably record history while being an agent for change."
- "A road movie that is simple in concept and devastating in execution. "
- "Despite the extraordinary circumstances in which its subjects find themselves, the film is incredibly effective as a slice-of-life documentary, a testament to the resilience and courage of the normal people this conflict has affected, as well as Hamela’s determination to tell their stories as truthfully as possible."
- "In another stellar example of vérité storytelling, the ravages of war are written on the faces of evacuees as they flee their homes and lives amid escalations in the war in Ukraine, viewed through the ‘rear view’ perspective of our director as he drives group after group out of danger and into new and uncertain lives ahead. Views of the passing, war torn landscape outside the windows of the vehicle are continuous glimpses into the horrors of war that most people can only imagine. This emotionally-driven journey into the unknown for the film’s subjects, passengers of the camera-wielding caravan, captures the humanity of each face and the rawness of their experience in moments charged with fear, empathy, love, pain, grief and even, at times, humor."
Awards & Recognition
Grand Jury Award
Sheffield Int'l. Documentary Festival
Silver Hugo - Best Documentary
Chicago Int'l. Film Festival
Bilbao Int'l. Festival of Documentary Films
Political Film Award
Hamburg Film Festival
Zurich Film Festival
Best Feature Documentary
International Documentary Association
Toronto Int'l. Film Festival