By Antony BUTTS


Documentary - Pre-Production 2015

“DIY Country” captures in exclusive detail the chaotic birth and evolution of the Donetsk People’s Republic in East Ukraine from hopeful and naive beginnings, to hate, destruction and infighting.

    • Year of production
    • 2015
    • Genres
    • Documentary
    • Countries
    • FRANCE
    • Languages
    • Duration
    • 70 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Antony BUTTS
    • Producer(s)
    • Olivier MILLE (Artline Films)
    • Synopsis
    • In spring 2014, pro-Russia rebels seized the regional administration building, expelling Ukrainian officials and raising their own flag. This rebellion and other incidents quickly escalated into a bloody civil war that has left over 2,000 people dead and displaced more than a million. Antony Butts was in a privileged position to see the psychology and real motivation of the mass of people who became the work-a-day rebels at the barricades who tried to build a new country. Behind the bluster, they were really fighting for money and jobs.

      In Part 1, The Revolutionaries, which has already been filmed, we see the stories of three revolutionaries: Vladimir, the rebel Parliament’s speaker, Lenin, self-styled working class hero who becomes increasingly marginalized in the bandit-style grab for power and Roma, who sets himself up as Head of Security. We filmed them as they joined a quasi-bandit uprising and intimidated and suppressed the majority Ukrainian population, while following the haphazard and bizarre internal life of the revolution.

      In Part 2, The Statebuilders, we will return to our characters after a year of almost continuous war. Vladimir, Lenin and Roma have been kicked out of the revolution amid intense squabbling that has carved the rebel territory into tens of small and often competing fiefdoms of rival bandit groups. With our original heroes watching from the sidelines, we will follow new heroes that have emerged.

      Nikolai “The Daddy” Kozitsyn is a hard-drinking Cossack from Russia who sees his mission to re-establish the USSR. He controls a small town and is setting up a fundamentalist Orthodox Christian judicial system of people’s courts. Such Cossack mini-kingdoms are all about an alternative vision to the more well-known Donetsk People’s Republic, which he says is ridden by infighting and “the banditry of the businessmen leaders”.

      Alexander Klodchenko is a local mafia businessman leader who is trying to get the coal smelters going. He doesn’t care much for the revolution’s Orthodox Christianity ideals or neo-imperialism. He wants money and power and taking over the steel mills that have fallen silent is one way. War is no good for business so he wants peace, an unpopular prospect for those who now define themselves by war. His unpopular “peace plan” is opposed by the likes of Nikolai, not least because he “deals with the enemy”.

      Graham is a notorious 35 year-old Englishman bringing the truth of “Western NATO aggression” through working as stringer the Kremlin propaganda channel Russia Today.
      Drawn to the rebel cause, Graham has already completed his conversion from journalist to active participant, and we will see him in action, firing machine guns, dressing like a rebel and presenting information in the one-sided way.

      We’ll also follow a young medical professional as he/she deals with the human cost of setting up the new state and a young minister who is trying to set up state structures.