A film by Simon Lereng Wilmont
Ten-year-old Oleg lives in the eastern part of Ukraine —a warzone that often echoes with anti-aircraft fire and missile strikes. Sometimes these sounds are in the distance, while other times they’re frighteningly close. While many have already left this dangerous area, Oleg remains with his grandmother, who has taken care of him since the death of his mother. They have nowhere else to go. While waiting for the war to end, Oleg enjoys hanging out with his younger cousin Yarik and the older boy Kostia. Together they go on adventures, talk about what makes a real man, test each other’s boundaries —but sometimes they go too far.
This observational film follows a year in the life of Oleg, and emphasises the warm bond he has with his grandmother. By sticking close to Oleg, The Distant Barking of Dogsshows the effect of conflict on children.
“An intimate, stirring portrayal of life during wartime." - Adam Patterson, Film Pulse
“Wilmont sensitively dramatizes the unique pressures that come with living adjacent to a war zone, presenting the physical and psychological impacts of such an upbringing on impressionable, malleable young souls." - Neil Young, The Hollywood Reporter
“A pacifist film urgently needed in light of the ongoing and senseless war in Ukraine. It is also a film about childhood as moving as 'The Florida Project'." - Louis Proyect, Counterpunch.org