The war has been going on for five years now, and there are many Ukrainians who want to do something for their country. The right-wing Azov Regiment offers training for citizen militias, partly through summer camps for thousands of children. We follow two of the star candidates.
Twelve-year-olds Jasmin and Jastrip come from very different backgrounds. Jasmin is an ambitious girl with a loving mother and father; Jastrip gets more attention from the camp leaders than he would get from his parents at home. Summer camp teaches them how to make a bed, what the benefits are of group identity, and how to assemble a Kalashnikov rifle. They are destined to become proud Ukrainians prepared to fight and die for their country.
Director Moritz Schulz was allowed to film in the camp without restrictions for two weeks. That’s plenty of time to show that these soldiers of the future really are just children: kids who want to play, chat or fool around. But Schulz puts his finger on the sore spot when he shows them calling home and expressing their doubts, or even crying.