Netflix’s “Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom,” one of the 15 shortlisted titles left vying for the Best Documentary Oscar, offers a potent reminder that stuffed stockings and Black Friday sales are of no concern to those standing up for their most basic rights: “In America, we gave our gifts,” the new spot says. “In Ukraine, they gave their lives.”
Russian-Israeli director Evgeny Afineevky’s acclaimed portrait of the Maidan protestors, following a diverse array of subjects for 93 days in late 2013 and early 2014, is a remarkable profile in courage, as individuals from all walks of life put themselves in harm’s way to defy Ukraine’s then-president Viktor Yanukovych. The stirring use of “Silent Night” is a fitting tribute to the memories of those who lost their lives, as is “Winter on Fire” itself.
The film is now streaming exclusively on Netflix.