This Rain Will Never Stop

Filmed in striking black-and-white, This Rain Will Never Stop observes the endless cycle of war and peace, in which we meet 20 year-old Andriy Suleyman. Fleeing the Syrian civil war, Andriy and his Kurdish family start a new life in a small town in eastern Ukraine, only to be caught up in another military conflict. Following Andriy back to his homeland, This Rain Will Never Stop takes the viewer on a journey from Ukraine to Iraq, Syria and Germany, featuring war zones, military parades, humanitarian missions, refugee camps, cultural, religious and funeral customs.

'Striking monochrome imagery and disruptive editing lends edgy gravitas to this absorbing documentary on a Syrian-Ukrainian Red Cross worker.' Jessica Kiang, VARIETY

"A striking, beautifully shot and edited film that embarks on the disaster of war through a personal journey and rocks the spectator between furtive moments of joy and pain. This moving film encompasses traditions, modernity, death, and the power of moving forward. This Rain Will Never Stop is a powerful story that does not allow us to escape from the destruction and heart-wrenching losses of wars," the IDFA jury reported.

  • Alina Gorlova
    No Obvious Signs, Kholodny Yar. Intro, The First Steps In The Clouds
  • Alina Gorlova
    No Obvious Signs, Kholodny Yar. Intro, The First Steps In The Clouds
  • Maksym Nakonechnyi
    Invisible, New Year With The Family
  • Patrick Hamm
    Freedom for the Wolf, Copwatch, Before I Forget
  • Ilona Bicevska
    Dixieland, One to Fifteen, On the Way to PyeongChang
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Political documentary, War documentary
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 43 minutes 34 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    November 1, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    200,000 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    Germany, Iraq, Syrian Arab Republic, Ukraine
  • Language:
    Arabic, Kurdish, Russian
  • Shooting Format:
    Blackmagic Ursa mini 4k
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • IDFA
    November 18, 2020
    World premiere
    IDFA Award for Best First Appearance
  • Festival Dei Popoli
    November 19, 2020
    Italian premiere
    Best Feature Length Film
  • International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights (FIFDH)
    March 5, 2021
    Swiss premiere
  • Tempo Documentary Festival
    March 8, 2021
    Swedish premiere
  • ACT Human Rights Film Festival
    Fort Collins
    United States
    March 19, 2021
    North American Premiere
  • Docudays UA International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival
    March 26, 2021
    Ukrainian premiere
    Current Time Award
  • Hong Kong International Film Festival
    Hong Kong
    Hong Kong
    April 1, 2021
    Hong Kong premiere
  • Las Palmas International Film Festival
    Las Palmas
    April 9, 2021
    Spanish premiere
    Golden Lady Harimaguada Award
  • goEast – Festival Of Central- And Eastern European Film
    April 20, 2021
    German premiere
    Golden Lily Award for Best Film
  • True/False
    United States
    May 5, 2021
  • DOK.fest München
    May 9, 2021
  • ethnocineca – International Documentary Film Festival
    May 13, 2021
    Austrian premiere
    IDA Award
  • One World – International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival
    Czech Republic
    May 26, 2021
    Czech premiere
  • FICDH – International Human Rights Film Festival

    May 27, 2021
    Argentinian premiere
  • Crossing Europe Filmfestival

    June 1, 2021
  • IceDocs – Iceland Documentary Film Festival
    June 27, 2021
    Icelandic premiere
    Main Competition Award
  • Docaviv – Tel Aviv International Documentary Film Festival
    Tel Aviv
    July 1, 2021
    Israeli premiere
  • Festival of Tolerance

    July 2, 2021
    Croatian premiere
  • DOCUMENTARIST – Istanbul Documentary Days
    July 10, 2021
    Turkish premiere
  • Social World Film Festival

    July 11, 2021
Distribution Information
  • Square Eyes
    Sales Agent
    Country: Worldwide
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Alina Gorlova

Alina Gorlova is a director and film editor. Born and raised in Ukraine, she graduated from Karpenko-Kary Kyiv National University of Theatre, Film and Television. In addition to her focus as a documentary director, Alina is also experienced in making fiction shorts, and social and commercial ads. In 2016, she completed her first feature-length documentary, Kholodny Yar. Intro, which screened at the Odessa IFF (Ukraine) and Artdocfest (Moscow, Russia). Her second documentary, No Obvious Signs, tells the story of a female Ukrainian soldier who undergoes rehabilitation for post-traumatic stress. The film has won multiple awards, including the MDR film award for outstanding Eastern European Movie at at DokLeipzig 2018. Alina was a 2019 Berlinale Talents participant.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

This is not my first film about war. The psychology of armed conflict has fascinated me for a long time. Why is the fate of our species so intertwined with the drive toward aggression? Why do people admire military parades, but at the same time they are afraid of war? They want freedom and are ready to fight for it, but they are afraid of dying or losing their loved ones. I am compelled to make this film because of these paradoxes, and the way they manifest in Andriy and his family. Part of them strives to escape the war, but another part dives straight into the conflict. These contrasts are very interesting to me. I want to show how our world is at a boiling point, and how this affects the family at the heart of our story.

Visually, This Rain Will Never Stop relies heavily on static imagery, and the film is shot entirely in black and white. The absence of color erases the geographical identity of space, as we move between peaceful and military scenes, and between different country locations. It also mimics the effect of war by stripping nature and the man-made world of its beauty, making it inaccessible – much like buildings, forests, or deserts can no longer be accessed or appreciated when they are covered in unexploded bombs and mines. We rely on visual rhymes to heighten this ambiguity, showing congruity and contradiction between images of oil rigs in Kurdistan and mining facilities in Donbas, between black waste heaps in Ukraine and white dunes in Syria, or between aerial shots of military machinery and Red Cross humanitarian convoys.

While filming in the east Ukrainian war zone last year, my intention was to visually capture the hybrid nature of that conflict, alternating between peace and active conflict. It is shown through the life of ordinary people and the meaning of their day-to-day actions, sometimes simple things like drinking a cup of coffee, which is difficult to obtain in demarcation zone. Or the silence and stillness of life during a ceasefire at the nearby frontline, which is destined to be interrupted soon. We capture our characters traversing between these realities in so-called “grey zones”, such as checkpoints in the Syrian and Ukrainian demarcation zones, which divide territories controlled by opposing forces.

We feature two conflicts in our film, in Syria and in Ukraine, which share the painful horrors of war, yet their perception by the world couldn’t be more different. The Syrian civil war has been at the center of global politics for years, whereas the ongoing fighting in East Ukraine rarely makes international news. By contrasting these experiences through the lens of one family, I hope to create a nuanced image of today’s war-torn world, and the complex realities of displacement for those in search of a normal life in a world structured by national borders and competing power interests.