Mariupol: The People’s Story
Commissioned by BBC
“Incredible story, intimately captured and unflinchingly told. By focusing on Mariupol and its people, it gave shape to the tragedy of the war and managed to drag courage from the darkness. Very hard to watch, but such an important story to tell.”
-Sony Impact Award Jury
This documentary tells the story of Mariupol through those who lived in the Ukrainian city as it was destroyed by Russia. More people died there than in any European city since the Second World War. To date, coverage of the war in Ukraine has largely been told from “the outside-in,” foreign journalists telling the story of military movements with personal stories covered in short clips.
This film set out to tell the story of the war from the “inside-out,” from the perspective of the people of Mariupol who are truly qualified to explore and explain the physical and psychological experience of the conflict. It combines the immediacy of current affairs with the intimate, in-depth interviews of a documentary project, revealing what the impact of modern warfare – without limits – is having on civilians in 21st century Europe.
This was not a legalistic exploration of war crimes, but rather a documentary examination of what war crimes mean for the people enduring them.
Hilary Andersson worked as a foreign correspondent and then documentary maker for the BBC for over 25 years, reporting from Africa, the Middle East and the US, covering Afghanistan post 9/11, the second Gulf War, Darfur, and America’s transformation from GW Bush to Trump. She now runs Hayloft Productions. Anderson’s work is rooted in deeply human stories, focussed on conflict, incarceration, war crimes, human rights, and the major issues of our times. Her work has earned multiple awards including an Emmy, two Peabodies, RTS Awards, Venice, and Amnesty.
Robin Barnwell has worked in many of the most challenging and hostile environments on the planet, including numerous war zones. He is a highly experienced journalist, focusing on ground-breaking investigations and human rights. His filmmaking is diverse and includes observational, history and current affairs documentaries. He has distilled the biggest global stories into BAFTA, Peabody and Emmy-winning stories: from China’s surveillance state, to Hong Kong’s wave of student protests, to Europe’s refugee orphans.
Born in Kyiv, Taras Shumeyko has worked as a researcher, fixer and producer on a number of documentary programmes about the Russian – Ukrainian war since 2022, including four BBC Panorama documentaries, a documentary about the history of the Russian – Ukraine conflict (Eternal War, VRT Belgium), a series of news reports for ABC Australia and NewsMax USA, a report from Bakhmut in for NHK Japan and a documentary for Sky News (Children of War, 2023).
Serhiy Solodko is a Kyiv-based producer and media-researcher. Since 2014, he has been helping international media to cover hybrid and active phases of war with Russia, particularly working with DW, BBC, SKY, CBC, Radio Canada, Channel 4, TF1, France 24 and ORF. At the same time, Serhiy was involved in producing award-winning documentary projects, such as Chernobyl: The Lost Tapes (2022) by James Jones for Sky and Taken: Putin’s Stolen Children (2023) by Robin Barnwell for BBC.