Becoming Canonical: A Film About Ukraine's Long Journey to Church Independence
28 April, 2019

The film “Ukraine’s Journey to Church Independence” (“Canonical” in Ukrainian) is a reflection on the difficult journey to Ukrainian church independence. There is a lot of history in this film. It helped the author, and, hopefully, will help the viewer to see, beyond the news of the previous year, one of the most important events for Ukrainian Orthodoxy and for the Orthodox world as a whole. Key storytellers in this work are historians and theologians, and other experts who do not jump to hasty conclusions.

READ MORE: Autocephaly is Coming to the Town: Ukraine Church Officially Receives Independence

During the work on this film, our group visited Istanbul twice, we traveled to Moscow, and traveled through Ukraine. Stories of ordinary parishioners from rural communities are especially precious to me. It was impressive that people from distant parishes are much more tolerant than their church mentors and politicians.

Separately, I wanted to show the beauty of the church in this film. After going through centuries of very difficult history at times, the church remains the guardian of collective spiritual memory and culture. The beauty of worship, prayers and chants will delight connoisseurs. Those who stay away from religion will be shown the way to a new vast world, which is much wider than politics and short-term interests.

The work turned out unrushed. But how can a short story suffice for what began at the end of the tenth century and still sees no end in sight.

I wish you all a pleasant viewing.

READ MORE: What Does Religious Independence Mean for Ukrainian People?​

/By Saken Aymurzaev and Oleksandr Popenko

/Translated into English by Natalie Vikhrov