Ukraine, 2025: despite its successful outcome, the war against Russia has left the Ukrainian population in a state of wretchedness. Atlantis is pure arthouse cinema. Despite the film’s shocking and explicit footage, director Valentyn Vasyanovych also uses beautifully staged shots to reveal warmth and humanity in a desolate, post-war landscape.
Former soldier Sergey has difficulty adapting to life outside the military. When the factory he works in closes its gates, he is provided with the opportunity to give new meaning to his life. By chance, Sergey comes across a voluntary organisation that exhumes bodies to identify them and give them a name, or at least offer them a decent funeral.
Vasyanovych, who also performed the camerawork and editing, leaves the audience rambling through harrowing images of war-ridden Ukraine in the company of Sergey. Yet there are sparks of hope in unexpected places.