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The blockbuster film Rise of the States, about the work of war correspondents, has been released in Ukraine. Vlada Liberova and Vasilisa Stepanenko shared their impressions of the work


On April 11, the nationwide distribution of one of the most anticipated films of the year, the blockbuster film "Rise of the States" directed by Alex Garland from the famous American independent company A24, started. This $75 million film is the first collaboration between A24 and Green Light Films, a distribution company. The studio is known to the audience for such films as the Oscar-winning All the Way and Moonlight, as well as for the hits Lady Bird, Solstice, Lobster and others. The day before, her new work was first seen by the guests of the pre-premiere screening, including many military photographers and correspondents whose work is featured in the movie. Among them were Vasilisa Stepanenko and Vlada and Konstantin Liberov.


Rise of the States is set in a near future alternative future of the United States, where a civil war is unfolding. A team of war photojournalists bravely sets out for the White House, traveling across the country and risking their lives to document the reality. The viewer goes along with them to the front lines of the dystopian tomorrow, and is transported to an incredible, exciting cinematic action world with an inevitable stunning conclusion. The film has a real star-studded cast, starring Kirsten Dunst (Melancholia, Interview with the Vampire), Nick Offerman (The Last of Us), Wagner Moura (Narcos), Jesse Plemons (Killers of the Flower Full Moon, Breaking Bad) and the star of the Priscilla biopic, Kaley Spanaway. The film's director, Alex Garland, is well known for his hits such as Ex Machina, Annihilation, Maleficent and 28 Days Later.


"No country is immune to terrible events. And one of the biggest mistakes countries can make is to believe that they are exceptional and will not be affected by the problems that others are experiencing. This complacency is false," said filmmaker Alex Garlandi, "By abandoning basic values, decency and respect, people can very quickly drive themselves into the realm of total insanity. Unfortunately, it doesn't take long for individuals and states to reach this level of insanity."


Presenting the film at the pre-premiere screening, Veronika Yasinska, CEO of Green Light Films, noted that A24 films are already a sign of quality, as the company has received 55 Oscar nominations over 12 years and won 16 of them, including the films Everything Always and At the Same Time and Moonlight. "With a budget of $55 million, Uprising of the States became A24's most expensive project.


"The movie 'Rise of the states' is like a call for a dialog about our future. It's a road movie with very deep meanings. Of course, there's a lot of action, because it's not for nothing that this movie was shot with IMAX cameras. But above all, it is a powerful reminder that the worst thing that can happen to humanity is war. And this war is shown here through the eyes of war reporters and photographers," said Veronika Yasinska.



The Ukrainian Association of Professional Photographers (UAPP) became a partner of the premiere, and the special guests of the screening are its members who cover and record the events of the full-scale war in Ukraine. Among them, in particular, are Vlada and Kostyantyn Liberov, whose photos from the war are known all over the world.



"The film "Rise of the States" is about the work of war photographers. And it was to this work that my husband and I devoted the last two years of our lives," said Vlada Liberova, " although perhaps the word work is inappropriate here. It's not a job, it's a vocation. When such terrible events are unfolding in your country before your eyes, the decision to go to the heart of this chaos, to the side from which everyone else is leaving, is perceived as an impulse and a very important call. Just as someone voluntarily takes up arms to defend their home, war photographers and journalists take up a camera to defend the truth. Not the truth that everyone has their own, but the one and only truth. And which will be the first to suffer if no one stands up to defend it."


Liberov reminded that more than 70 journalists have been killed and many injured during the Russian-Ukrainian war. "Apiece of Russian hail is still in my body. But this is nothing compared to the wounds that remain in the heart and psyche of every war photographer and journalist from what they have seen and experienced. And yes, this is the price we pay for the work, the value of which is often difficult to assess in the moment, but which will definitely be appreciated by future generations."



Interestingly, the film's director, Alex Garland, often seems to foresee the future in his films and screenplays. For example, he is almost called a prophet for his 2014 sci-fi film Ex Machina. Now critics are pointing out that Garland began working on the script for the film Rise of the States Garland began working on the script for Rise of the States four years ago, and the film is due for release in 2024, the year of the US election. It may be the director's last work, as he recently announced that he plans to end his directorial career after "Rise of the States".


The guests of the pre-premiere screening of the film US Uprising were journalist and producer of the Oscar-winning documentary 20 Days in Mariupol Vasilisa Stepanenko, photographers Vlada and Kostyantyn Liberov, actor and director Akhtem Seitablaev, journalist Roman Kravets, singer Ivan Marunych, and singer Mari Cheba.


"This film reminds the world that there is a war going on. And although the events take place in the United States, in reality the war is going on in Ukraine, and this is a reminder that this is a problem for the whole world, not just ours. I resonated with many moments in the movie that depict the work of journalists in these realities, showing the losses. After all, in our work, we experience many similar moments and complex emotions as the main characters in the movie," said Vasilisa Stepanenko.



Rise of the States will be released in Ukrainian cinemas and IMAX on April 11 , simultaneously with the world premiere. Screenings in Ukraine are available with audio description for people with visual or hearing impairments.


The official synopsis of the movie: A thrilling adrenaline-pumping journey through a fractured America teetering on a razor's edge.


Start date: 11.04.2024

Format: 2D, 4DX, IMAX

Country: USA, UK

Duration: 109 minutes

Genre: action

Director: Alex Garland

Cast: Kirsten Dunst, Wagner Moura, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Kaley Spaney, Sonoya Mizuno, Jesse Plemons, Nick Offerman, Carl Glusman


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