DIY Country

In spring 2014, following the annexation of the Crimea by Russia, groups of armed pro-Russian rebels in the eastern Ukraine city of Donetsk seized local administrative building, expelled Ukrainian officials and raised their own flag, called for a referendum and eventually declared independence from Kiev.
Antony Butts first came to Donetsk in April 2014 and met people who became the work-a-day rebels at the barricades while building a new country. As they gradually let him into their lives, he began working on an extensive record of what has been happening in the region - chaos, adventure, geopolitics, opportunism, heroism, and broken lives, revealing the psychology and motivations of these men and women creating a “new country”.
Over a 2-year period, “DIY Country” captures the origins and evolution of the Donetsk People’s Republic in East Ukraine from hopeful and naive beginnings, to hate, destruction and infighting. In the first part we follow the sinister and at times comical mechanics of how our heroes make a Revolution that will immediately eat them up. In the second part we will see them trying to find a role to play in the new State, as power is once again taken away from the people.

  • Antony Butts
  • Olivier Mille
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Donetsk, la bataille de l'Ukraine
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Current affairs
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 20 minutes 31 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 26, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    250,000 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Hot Docs Film Festival
    May 3, 2016
    North American Premiere
Director Biography - Antony Butts

Antony is a Russian-speaking documentary maker and video journalist. He is passionate about films featuring characters with both good and bad qualities, who struggle in a complex world that is often politically entrenched. The results are films that are often full of absurdity and unintentional comedy, and challenge the viewer to engage with both sides of a highly contentious issue, yet avoid being divisively polemical. Antony worked on the Oscar long-listed “Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer” as a cameraman, and won an Amnesty International Award for filming in the North Caucasus.

Add Director Biography