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Thursday
Feb072019

God's River, by filmmakers Gabriela Bulisova and Mark Isaac

GOD’S RIVER is a short documentary film created by Mark Isaac and Gabriela Bulisova as part of their work in Ukraine supported by a Fulbright grant. Energy producers and environmentalists agree that climate change has significantly reduced the flow of the Southern Bug River, the longest river entirely within Ukraine. But the two camps differ dramatically on how to respond. The state-operated nuclear conglomerate, EnergoAtom, proposes to raise water levels behind Alexandrivsky Dam, flooding a portion of Buszky Gard National Park. But a unique coalition of veterans, academics, environmentalists and Ukrainian nationalists opposes the plan because it will threaten endangered plants and animals, submerge archaeological digs, and destroy Gardove Island, a place that is sacred to Cossack heritage. While some urge compromise, others claim concessions could permanently kill the river. Returning soldiers from the Donbas region forthrightly embrace the struggle as an extension of the war effort. If the Ukrainian Parliament approves the plan, they have pledged — along with their allies — to occupy Gardove Island, where a Cossack church once stood, and protect it “by all means necessary, including radical ones.”