Pic is an action-packed, dramatic tale of love and the importance of family, set against the backdrop of political upheaval in 1930s Ukraine. It features an ensemble cast that includes Samantha Barks (“Les Miserables”), Barry Pepper (“Saving Private Ryan”) and Terence Stamp (“The Adjustment Bureau”).
Pic centers on Yuri (Irons), an artistic soul born into a family of Cossack warriors, who struggles to win the approval of his grandfather Ivan (Stamp) and father Yaroslav (Pepper), and to win the heart of Natalka (Barks). He finds his life changed forever with the invasion of the Red Army, and the subsequent persecution of his family and fellow countrymen as Stalin’s regime of terror extends across Eastern Europe.
Mendeluk co-wrote the screenplay alongside Richard Bachynsky Hoover, from Hoover’s original story. Mendeluk produces with Jaye Gazeley and Chad Barager. Camilla Storey co-produces. Ian Ihnatowycz and Hoover are executive producers.
Mendeluk said: “I grew up with my mother describing how she and her family survived the terror of the Holodymor — the engineered famine/genocide wrought by Stalin in Ukraine — where 7 million perished at a time when the world looked the other way. As you see in today’s media, his long shadow still affects Ukraine today, but our story is essentially one of love triumphing over all that life throws at it.”