The Undefeated

The Undefeated (Нескорений) is a 2000 Ukrainian drama about Roman Shukhevich (alias Taras Chuprynka), the leader of a Ukrainian insurgent army during and after World War II.

The real-life Shukhevich grew up in Lwów, which at the time was part of Poland, though he and his family were ethnically Ukrainian. He joined the Ukrainian Military Organization (Українська Військова Організація), an anti-Polish resistance army, in 1925 and a few years later joined the newly founded Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (Організація українських націоналістів), led by the famous and controversial figure Stepan Bandera (Степан Бандера). Shukhevich continued his nationalist activities through World War Two, fighting in insurgent armies under Bandera against the Poles and alongside the German Army. Shukhevich became the leader of the UPA (Ukrainian Insurgent Army; Українська повстанська армія), the military section of the OUN. After the war, he stayed in western Ukraine, continuing to fight for Ukrainian independence, but he shot himself after being captured by Soviet security forces.

The film tells the story of Shukhevich’s life after World War Two, and his continued fight for Ukrainian independence. The fight goes underground, due to the strict Soviet regime, but he maintains his commitment to his cause and attempts to inspire those around him. The film shows him given an offer of emigration, but he refuses, choosing to remain among his people and continue the fight—though it costs him his life.

The film, financed in part by the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, was viewed widely across Ukraine, and has unusually good audience scores on IMDB and KinoPoisk. While it hasn’t earned any notable awards, it’s overall a very good example of patriotic Ukrainian filmmaking.

 

Director: Oles Yanchuk (Олесь Янчук)
Stars: Grigoriy Gladiy (Григорій Гладій), Viktoria Malektorovich (Вікторія Малекторович), Sergiy Romanyuk (Сергій Романюк), Viktor Stepanov (Віктор Степанов), Svitlana Vatamanyuk (Світлана Ватаманюк), Dmitro Mirgorodskiy (Дмитро Миргородський)
Production company: Oles Film

 

An official version of the trailer is not currently available. Try searching YouTube for one (but note that there is a more recent American movie that has also been translated into Ukrainian as Нескорений).

 

The Undefeated

Julie is currently studying Russian as a Second Language in Irkutsk (and before that, Bishkek) with SRAS's Home and Abroad Scholarship program, with the goal of someday having some sort of Russia/Eurasia-related career. She recently got her master’s degree from the University of Glasgow and the University of Tartu, where she studied women’s dissent in Soviet Russia. She also has a bachelor’s degree in literature from Yale. Some of her favorite Russian authors are Sorokin, Shishkin, Il’f and Petrov, and Akhmatova. In her spare time Julie cautiously practices martial arts, reads feminist websites, and taste-tests instant coffee for her blog.