Ukrainian Sheriffs

Roman Bondarchuk
  • Germany
  • 2015
  • 85min
  • DCP
  • Color
  • Asian Premiere
Non-CompetitionGlobal Vision



Like a bird, the Ukrainian flag flies along perched on the car of two affable "sheriffs" deputized by the mayor of a village in southern Ukraine. There's a sly bum whose gift is not to work. There's a guy who puts an anaconda in his woman's shed. The advent of Euromaidan, and draft-dodgers abound. Town folks are dipping in icy water and laughing, but are they divided in their loyalty? These sheriffs are taking you along for the ride.


  • Roman Bondarchuk
    Euromaidan. Rough cut (2014)
    Café Voyage (2013)
    Radunytsia (2010)
    The taxi-driver (2005)
Director's Statement
When I fi¬rst met the mayor of this village and the sheriff s, I was totally fascinated: in a country where everything was corrupt, authorities not working properly, and the police never around, the people were not complaining, but found an alternative way to arrange their life. I immediately started following them with my camera and discovered another universe with its own morality, beliefs and fears, sometimes absurd but very human. Then I realized that life in the village is full of paradoxes but it reflects all the events in my country, on a smaller scale. There is a pro-Russian separatist living in the village, all the time competing with the mayor for power. Villagers are afraid of war, but draft the locals to fi¬ght in the war. And they band together to collect food and goods for the Ukrainian army. They are trying to deal with the new reality on their own, like all Ukrainians do now. Following recent political events in Ukraine and personal stories of the sheriff s, I made a very honest ¬lm. I would love to call it a tragic documentary comedy.


Sheriffs Victor and Volodya are too busy to find time to breath in a small village in Southern Ukraine. They look like old fashioned men for some reason, who drive a yellow car came out in the 1970s and rush to the scene. But that doesn't mean the work they have is a frivolous waste of time. A husband beating his wife, a man smashing the doorknob of a neighbor's house, a hobo who ate a neighbor's little dog, a young man dodging military service. The film depicts the village people in their everyday lives with the eyes of the detective, by following two sheriffs busy to solving the problems that these people caused.
In the meantime, the realistic point of view and the romantic eye intersect with each other in the film. The director shows villagers who enjoy their leisure time in the carnival like atmosphere, and captures keenly the seeds of strife and conflict hiding around the town, as well. Some of its inhabitants are trying to establish a community, under the official authorization from the Ukrainian government. There is a heated dispute about the legitimacy of establishing a community and the representative of the village council. These conflicts between the village people could be a matter of procedure arising from the investigation of public opinions in a sense, but also it could be considered the issue related to the Ukrainian history gaining the independence from the Soviet Union in a wider perspective. The film examines Ukrainian politics, economics, law and history through observing a little village in remote parts of the country. [Lee Do-hun]


  • Director, Cinematographer  Roman Bondarchuk
  • Producer  Dar'ya Averchenko, Uldis Cekulis
  • Editor  Kateryva Gornostai, Roman Bondarchuk, Borys Peter
  • Music  Anton Baibakov
  • Sound  Borys Peter

Distribution / World Sales

  • Contribution / World Sales  Taskovski Films Ltd.
  • Phone  44 75 62 977 14348 693 866 348
  • E-mail  sales@taskovski
  • Website  http://www.taskovski