Light From The East
Light from the East begins in 1991 after the fall of communism. The Soviet Union opens its doors to the West, and a New York acting troupe travels to Kyiv for the first U.S./Ukrainian cultural exchange theater project in Soviet history. The young actors plan to perform a play based on the life of Les Kurbas, a revolutionary Ukrainian director murdered in one of Stalin’s purges. As rehearsals progress, Gorbachev is kidnapped, a military coup overthrows the Kremlin, and the USSR plunges into volatile uncertainty.
Director and protagonist Amy Grappell returns after the Orange Revolution in 2005 to re-connect with Ukrainian theater team as t
he film portrays a personal journey behind the Iron Curtain while highlighting Ukraine’s historic struggle to maintain independence from Russia. This 2022 presentation includes new interviews with several of the performers, who share their perspectives on the realities of Ukraine today. Official Selection SXSW. 82min
In Person: Filmmaker Amy Grappell