Bad Roads

Directed by Natalya Vorozhbit
Film Movement
2020
105 Minutes
Ukraine
Russian, Ukrainian
Drama
Not Rated

Four short stories are set along the treacherous roads of Donbass, Ukraine during the war. There are no safe spaces and no one can make sense of just what is going on. Even as they are trapped in the chaos, some manage to wield authority over others. Originally presented on stage at the Royal Court Theater in London and adapted powerfully by writer/director Natalya Vorozhbit, BAD ROADS presents a series of tension-packed vignettes, each built around a dangerous encounter on the byways of Eastern Ukraine. With a particular sensitivity to the vulnerability of women during wartime, Vorozhbit's debut feature, Ukraine's official submission to the 2022 Academy Awards, “reflects the gloomy political reality of Ukraine and the pressure that Russia exerts on everyday life” (IndieWire).

Director & Cast

  • Director: Natalya Vorozhbit
  • Starring: Igor Koltovskyy
  • Starring: Anna Zhurakovskaya
  • Starring: Maryna Klimova
  • Starring: Yuri Kulinich
  • Starring: Zoya Baranovskaya

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Reviews

  • "Insightful.... Putting regular citizens who suddenly find themselves in extraordinary circumstances under a microscope, she shows how women bear the brunt of the brutality of war, even if nominally only the men are fighting. "
    Boyd van Hoeij, The Film Verdict
  • "The ensemble cast is brilliant, particularly the three girls, who are non-professionals. But the narratives are grim and unforgiving. Bad Roads is a Hieronymus Bosch painting come to life: utter depravity of mind and body."
    Meredith Taylor, Filmuforia
  • "Powerfully acted...the film serves as a launch pad to help a new Ukrainian talent gain wider notice."
    David Katz, Cineuropa
  • "Natalya Vorozhbit’s adaptation of her 2017 play is a howl of anguish over the recent history of the Ukraine and the impact of hostilities with neighbouring Russia. Her powerful directorial debut uses four stories to illustrate the appalling treatment of women and how a climate of fear destroys any thought of compassion. "
    Allan Hunter, Screen Daily
  • "A stark reminder of how quickly our humanity can disappear during war."
    Laura Clifford, Reeling Reviews
  • "It’s a visceral, powerful experience but beware: the film is decidedly not for the faint of heart. It’ll burrow itself into your head for a long, long time."
    Alex Saveliev, Film Threat
  • "Impressively restrained in its flirtation with full-bore horror, it’s a reminder that when inhumanity is the everyday norm, there may be few things more futile -- or dangerous -- than the stirrings of individual conscience."
    Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times
  • "Twists and turns abound with the most satisfying moments being those in which relationships and expectations of who has power get turned onto their heads."
    Phil Guie, Film-Forward.com