Peace and Tranquility by Andrii Bondarenko (trans. John Farndon)

Peace and Tranquility – a play by Andrii Bondarenko (Lviv, Ukraine).
Released 24 March 2022.
Believed to be the first film in the world about Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Freely available on Sputnik’s youtube channel.

Peace and Tranquility is an original drama written two weeks after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

This drama conjures up playwright Andrii Bondarenko’s life in Ukraine: the peace and tranquility of his boyhood – bookended by historical traumas, revolutions and war. Bondarenko vividly evokes the joys and sorrows of life in Ukraine, through the story of his grandmother, mother and sister, as well as his own biography. Real photos from Bondarenko’s life are used in the film to portray personalities, locations and local histories – the many textures that make up contemporary Ukraine.

Live screenings to date:

Institute of Contemporary Art (London), 27 April 2022.
Sheffield DocFest (UK), 23 and 26 June 2022.
Marienbad Film Festival (Czech Republic), 10 July 2022.
Kinosarai Film Festival (Ukraine), 29 July 2022 – Special Jury Award.
Dovzhenko Centre (Ukraine), 28 October 2022.
One World Film Festival (Slovakia), November 2022.
Docudays.UA (Ukraine), November 2022.
Go Short International Short Film Festival Nijmegen, 15th edition (Netherlands), 2023.
Lviv Municipal Art Centre (Ukraine),18 May 2023.
Ukrainian Institute (London), 17 September 2023, part of Ukrainian Film Festival.

Written by Andrii Bondarenko
Translated by John Farndon
Directed by Myro Klochko & Anatolii Tatarenko
Produced by Noah Birksted-Breen
Commissioned by Sputnik Theatre Company
Part of the Worldwide Reading Project (2022), a collaboration between Philip Arnoult’s Center for International Theater Development and Sputnik Theatre Company.

Thank you to Ukrainian playwright Maksym Kurochkin and theatre translator & critic John Freedman for leading Ukrainian playwrights into collaborations with international theatre companies. The Worldwide Reading Project would not have happened without them.

About the Worldwide Reading Project

The Theatre of Playwrights in Kyiv was supposed to have opened its doors on March 1, 2022. But Russia invaded Ukraine and virtually all of the 24 playwrights connected with the theatre either took up weapons to defend their nation, or became refugees escaping the fighting. All of the short plays that had been written for performance on opening day have been discarded by artistic director and famed playwright Maksym Kurochkin, because, he writes, “they now belong to another era. We may return to them after we win the war, but for now, we have set them all aside.” The Worldwide Readings Project, working with Center for International Theater Development (USA) and Sputnik Theatre Company in London, have raised money to commission new short plays from ToP’s stable of writers, ones that will reflect the reality of life in Ukraine since the beginning of the war. These plays will be made available for readings and performances by any of the the international organizations – theatres, acting groups, universities, etc. – that are partnering with Worldwide Readings Project to present Ukrainian drama to the world. There are currently approximately 70 readings in the works, while new theatres join virtually every day.

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    Sputnik is a British theatre company dedicated to sourcing, translating and producing new Russian drama for British audiences.

    There are several strands to Sputnik's work including:
    - producing new Russian plays in the UK
    - programming and organising the Russian Theatre Festival in London
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    Russia has a history of theatrical innovation. Russian playwrights have played a significant role in shaping modern European theatre.

    Contemporary playwriting in Russia has been going through an important and innovative period since 1991 with a prolific output by predominantly young dramatists.

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