FROM 19 Aug
Olga (Anastasiia Budiashkina) leaves her homeland for Switzerland during the 2014 Maidan revolution to compete for the Swiss team during the European championships in Stuttgart. Her widowed mother was able to get her out to safety because Olga’s dad was Swiss, and she herself is being threatened by the state for her work as an investigative journalist uncovering corruption during the pro-Russian presidency.
Olga is lonely, tired, scared, reflexively suspicious of her Swiss hosts – but also a superb competitor who can obliterate all her anxieties with her fanatical commitment to work in this state-of-the-art Swiss gym. But as the tough training programme continues and Olga’s relationship with her sullen French and Italian-speaking teammates gets complicated, the news comes through of how Ukraine (and her mother) is under brutal assault.
While the war explodes in the east of Europe millions of Ukrainian refugees are driven abroad. Olga is, in her troubled way, emblematic of Ukraine’s yearning for a new European identity. The film speaks to the new agony of banishment now being felt by millions of Ukrainians.