Introducing: The Frontline Dispatch

The Big Dig

03-01-2024 • 22 mins

An episode from our colleagues at The Frontline Dispatch: Documenting the Siege of Mariupol

20 Days in Mariupolis an unflinching, first-hand account of the early days of Russia’s invasion of the port city of Mariupol, which remains under Russian occupation to this day.

Ukrainian-born director and journalist Mstyslav Chernov and his colleagues from the Associated Press were the last international journalists to remain in Mariupol as Russian troops attacked. His new film, from FRONTLINE and the AP, draws on Chernov’s news dispatches and his reflections as he documented the devastation of his home country for the world to see.

Chernov sat down with FRONTLINE editor-in-chief and executive producer Raney Aronson-Rath and editor and producer Michelle Mizner in February 2023, as we marked the grim anniversary of the war in Ukraine.

In this episode of The FRONTLINE Dispatch, recorded at the Boston Public Library, Chernov recounts the decision to go to Mariupol, how he and Mizner created a documentary feature from his Pulitzer Prize-winning journalism, and what he hopes people will take away from the film — today, and in years to come.

“I know that we form our understanding of the current events of the world around us by watching news and consuming news,” Chernov said. “ But [we] form our understanding of our past with documentary films… Film is a medium which carries meaning across time, for generations to come.”

An earlier version of this episode was published in July.

You can watch20 Days in Mariupol on FRONTLINE’s website, FRONTLINE’s YouTube Channel, the PBS App, and the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel.

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