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Polish film director risks life rescuing Ukraine civilians

Risking mined roads and shelling, a Polish filmmaker ferrying civilians away from the frontlines of Ukraine’s war with Russia is the focus of the new documentary “In the Rearview”.

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Filmed in the initial months of the conflict, director Maciek Hamela captured the intimate moments of people speaking of their experiences of war and evacuation in the back seat of a van.

Hamela admitted the challenges of making a film in such a format but insisted that filming was “always subordinate to the evacuation effort.”

In an interview, Hamela stated that “it’s always risky to try to make a film within a car.”

“We know a lot of examples from cinema. Not all of these films work perfectly, and it’s hard to make a feature that’s enclosed in such a tight space.”

Initially, Hamela drove Ukrainian refugees from the Polish border before crossing into Ukraine to reach more remote places. He then brought in a friend to film the journey and take turns driving.

“I decided to hop on the other side of the border very quickly after a week and start going to more remote places in Ukraine because I knew Russian and I knew there was a bigger necessity for drivers on the other side,” he explained.

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