Paradise… that’s how people used to call this land.
And it really was like that.
I can still hear the sound of the mountain winds groaning,
people talking and birds singing.
I can still remember the smell of those trees and flowers.
When I was a child I kept having strange dreams and was overcome
with premonitions of something mysterious and formidable.
- Come here, don’t be afraid!
The river flowed through dark rocks
and then we were attacked by a savage enemy.
People fled to the forest as their ancestors did
when the Golden Horde invaded.
- Together with our military units, we have been ordered
to fall back to the remote areas of the Carpathians.
Some of you will head to villages and towns for registration purposes.
Our leadership will provide you with new documents.
You will become our eyes and ears.
Together we shall continue our fight against the evil empire,
waiting for the right moment to inflict a decisive blow.
Remember, the most important thing is to save our people’s lives!
Best of luck to all of you
and may God bless you all!
Rebel units gladly accepted those fleeing
and provided them with shelter, weapons and clothing.
That’s how I found myself among the rebels.
- Niko... Niko!
- Let me have a look at you.
So much time has passed.
- It’s so good to see you here.
My family were killed...
- What are you going to do?
- I’m not sure... where to go...
- Come along with us!
- Come quick! It’s a raid!
- Commander! Allow her to come along with us!
- She’s wanted... - We all are!
- Let’s retreat up the river!
- They got away... eh...
- Hold still!
- The bandits are trying to trick us! I know all their moves...
- They retreated up the river... Follow me!
- How are you?
- Let’s stop and rest here.
- Guys, get up. They’re already here.
Commander, please... give us the order...
We have to go... We’re going to die!
- Who are we... to follow a girl’s orders?
- Well done.
- We’ll capture the others alive.
- Anna, how did you know?
- I have dreams since I was a child...
It’s a gift from God...
- When she was a kid she fell down a well. I witnessed that myself.
Back then the people said that it was a sign.
- God’s blessings have never been more welcome.
- “After it starts snowing, We’ll sacrifice our lives."
“They won’t let us live here.”
- Mother Nature seems angry with us.
It’s snowing, and we aren’t ready yet.
We have to dig.
High up in the mountains we were building a bunker.
The commander knew the location of caches of tools,
candles and oil for lamps were hidden.
We even had a radio set.
But our food stocks were running low and that really worried us.
We were preparing for a long, cold winter.
Nobody knew if we were going to make it to the next day.
The enemy could locate us at any minute.
We felt we were doomed.
- Who are these people? They bury themselves alive.
We’ll have to pursue them in the mountains when spring comes.
We should have captured them back there.
The position in the meadows was more favorable for us...
- Bring the equipment, Aliphanov.
We’ve got a snitch with a radio transmitter... and wait.
After they arrive... He’ll press the button. And we’re there!
Let’s move. We’ll get them all alive.
The hunt for the rebels was non-stop, 24/7.
- Stop! Let’s split up.
Alifanov, take your men and move to the left side of the shed.
The rest of you, follow me! Let’s move!
People were forced to inform on each other by the NKVD.
Betraying your friends became normal, and nobody trusted anybody.
- Now I’ve got you, you carrion!
Look into my eyes, bitch!
- Capture them alive!
- Commander, there’s somebody there.
Hold your fire! It’s commander Hrim.
- Our bunker was overrun... and so were many others…
Our fate is in your hands for the rest of winter.
- Hrim, my friend, I’ve prepared everything.
Our bunker is ready for winter. We’ll make it through this winter.
- There are more of us now.
- I know you thought there would be only 4 people.
Keep cooking once a day, we have to make it through winter.
I cooked meals and did the laundry
while the men had other things on their mind.
- ...We are waging a war against a party
that want us as their slaves
and whose policies could lead to the destruction of mankind...
- That’s all we have. There’s no more.
- At last we can go outside.
Some of you were probably thinking that we’d be stuck here forever.
At that moment my soul was full of life
but then I sensed a sharp knife piercing my heart forever.
- That’s it. You’ll remain in the bunker alone.
The commander and his guards have already left...
We’ve reestablished contact with other surviving units.
- But you have a wife.
Let’s suppose she’s alive?
If she comes back, I’ll say good-bye to you.
Even... if we have a baby.
- Off we go then!
- “…’cos I’m yours and you’re mine.”
- Wake up!
- Anna! Grab your things quickly! We’ve been betrayed!
- Get my bag! - Ok.
- Anna, hurry up!
- He’s armed! Run for your life!
- Capture them alive!
- We need her alive!
- Will she make it?
- Should she?
- Give her the injection.
- She’s beautiful... But she won’t live.
- Don’t be afraid. Is it your first time?
- It’s over, bitch!
Look into my eyes!
- Can she talk at all?
- It’s not her.
- She’s a nice girl. Ok, bring the next one in!
- My child. Run to the forest. They’ll be back.
- Why do you run from me?
I’ll get you anyway.
- Where’s your friend Dovbush?
Did he run away to save his ass,
leaving you behind?
- Ok, have some rest. We’ll continue tomorrow.
- You’re still young. You need to live.
- Soldier, follow me!
- Anna, we’re here to rescue you!
- Get her!
- We are leaving! They are not here.
- Anna. Let me help you.
- Take me far away from here. To the mountains.
I don’t want to see anyone.
I don’t want to hear their voices.
- If you’d stayed by my side... everything would’ve been different.
Maybe even better.
But he is Dovbush... And who am I?
Ok, let’s move.
- Here we are.
- The girl got away. Disappeared into thin air.
But the pain in my hand sure is real.
- Guys, prepare for action!
- We let Dovbush get away back then.
Now, the girl has gotten away as well.
Alone in the forest...
She won’t make it. She will die!
- Ok, Comrade Major.
We’ll get Dovbush, my people are working on it.
And after Dovbush we’ll get Hrim, sooner or later.
And we’ll execute them both!
With Dovbush and Hrim gone, the remaining shrews will disperse.
- I’m afraid, what should I do?
I got used to living among the wild animals... they were no threat to me.
As I had lost my human scent and acquired the smell of the forest,
the animals considered me one of them.
Back then, I thought that nobody would notice my death
and that nobody would be surprised.
Hundreds of thousands of people had already lost their lives
or disappeared without a trace.
And nobody would ever hear of them again.
- Listen, love, I’ve seen quite a lot at the front.
Killing a man is easy for me, a piece of cake!
And I’ve never believed in God...
However, it must be some kind of divine providence.
I shot you point-blank more than once! And you’re alive!
- Can you pray?
- Say a prayer for me.
- I hope we’ll find her alive. What do you think?
- We’ll see.
- Anna... Are you there?
Are you alive?
- Open the roof.
- Look, she’s gone totally crazy.
- Where’s Dovbush?
- Dovbush is in prison,
his water was spiked with anaesthetic.
They’ve had him for three months.
- Come with us. Let’s go...
- Well, hello there, take a seat.
Take a seat.
- Do you want some sausage? - Come on, have a bite.
Is everything alright? Have a drink and a snack.
- Come on.
Let’s talk like men. No need to be afraid.
Eat, don’t rush.
- Let’s talk. Tell us, where is Hrim?
- Ok, guys.
I’ll help you capture Hrim.
- Comrade Major!
Hold still, you bandit!!!
- Stop! Don’t move! Hold your fire!
- Let him get away.
He’s our agent now.
When they see our photos, they will kill him.
- He’s hiding somewhere in the forest.
But to tell you the truth, Orel, my friend, I think Dovbush is a traitor.
- And here’s a proof. - Dovbush?... This photo proves nothing.
Dovbush had a family,
but his family ties were cut for safety reasons.
I knew his wife would come back to him sooner or later,
so I promised myself that I would leave him.
- I was asked to bring it to your attention that you wife is back.
- She’s alive.
But I’m dead. Long dead.
Winter came again.
Commander Hrim and his wife came to our bunker
crazy іn love and doomed.
- We'll survive if God's will
- Why are you doing this, you have no heart, stop tormenting him.
- I want to kill myself to end this suffering.
But my soul belongs to God.
I’ve promised myself that I’ll leave him if his wife comes back.
There’s nothing I can do.
- We’re safe here, but we need to act fast.
I can leave tomorrow if you wish.
- Your task is to establish contact with Khmara.
But please remember!
If I don’t return before the 15th... You have to leave the bunker.
- You must return. That’s an order!
Please don’t go.
You’ll be betrayed.
- I have always listened to you, Anna. But not this time.
- Will I ever see you again?
- Listen, Anna.
Come with me.
Our life is there. You have to live...
What are we fighting for? Who are we fighting for?
This is the end.
- What did they offer you?
An official pardon? Money?
- Wait. - Do what you have to do.
- Do you remember him?
- Sargent, come here! I said, come here, Sargent!!!
Take it away. Get out of here. Go to hell!!!
You see? You see, don’t you?!! I’m f**king asking you...
Chasing you through the mountains? Yes, it was me!!!
- Ouch! Do you remember my hand?
- He spat at me!
Major, what the f**k, Hold him!
Did that hurt? It must have!
It f**king hurt me too!!!
Why are you spreading your legs like a woman who wants to get f**ked?
Sit like a man. I said, sit like a man!
- You won’t die, bitch! You won’t die!
Take that!!! Get out!!!
- Oh, yes. Get nervous.
- Just say the word, and we’ll get him!
- Will you talk?
Where are the bandits?
- Do you remember now? - Where? Where’s Hrim?
- This is the last time I’ll ask you, which forest is he in?
In which forest is the bunker?
- If I don’t return before the 15th... You’ll have to leave the bunker.
- I’ll... I’ll tell you.
- Girl, have you gone completely mad?
- Well, we’re ready.
- Who do you think that is?
- Someone we used to trust the most.
- Surrender, think about your son!
- It’s not my baby.
- Who brought you here? - Your friend, Dovbush.
- How do you do, my friend?
- Like a dead bird in a golden cage. I envy you.
- ...Fire... I... don’t... want... to be taken prisoner.
I’m ordering you... Shoot!
Finish... That’s an order…
- I’m afraid, what should I do?
- Don’t be afraid, just step forward.
- At 16:45
Grenades were thrown inside the bunker.
Anna Popovych, born in 1925,
Managed to survive yet again.
- Give me the file.
- Bring Popovych in!!! - Move out!
Come up here!
- You should have at least said hello to your wife.
Do you hear me?
- Who said that was his wife? We call this something else, you know.
- Keep your mouth shut!
- Sign the papers!
You’ll... be praying for death every day for the rest of your life.
- Had I listened to you, they wouldn’t have taken me alive.
- Are you going to eat her alive?
- Hey! Where are you?
What’s this? Can you tell me?
- You’re one lucky girl.
- You’re an interesting story, Anna, no one would believe it.
- Face the wall!
- Look straight! - Why are you standing motionless?!
Prisoners never received packages from the outside world.
I knew perfectly well that this present had come from my fiercest enemy.
I was sentenced to 10 years in a forced-labor camp.
I wore those boots every day of my sentence
and even returned home wearing them.
In our lifetime
there’s a small child living inside each of us.
Someday that child will invite you on a journey.
Don’t hesitate and don’t be afraid, just go...
I write you letters every night and day,
but I can’t send them to you.
Dovbush is alive… in my memory and in my dreams..