In Ukraine, the Soviet KGB archive with countless files containing reports of observations, has been made accessible to the public. What happens to you, once you find out that the state has been watching you for years? A dissident Ukrainian woman, a Dutch amateur spy and a French tourist betrayed 50 years ago by her “lover”, are confronted with their own file in the archive. The film reveals a time when the paranoia of the Soviet regime penetrated deep into the fibers of personal lives. Highlighting the impact of paranoia and mistrust. Through the stories we are reminded of the importance of transparency, accountability, and the protection of individual rights in any society.
World premiere: IDFA, November 12, 2023.
Born in 1966, Stokman studied film at the Art Academy in Breda, the Netherlands. Since 1993 he has made several documentary films, including one about funk musician Sly Stone (let me have it all) and one about black pop stars (can’t u hear me singin’) Since 1997 he has also worked as a free lance director for the Dutch TV station VPRO.
His work became internationally recognized when he was awarded for Best Documentary at the Brooklyn International Film Festival in 2003 and when he won the Dutch ‘Golden Calf’ for his documentary film ‘ASH worldwide suicide’ (2002). In 2022, his films ‘Lazy Duck’ and ‘Privégesprekken’ were released with Zeppers Film.
Director Walter Stokman
Cinematography Jackó van ‘t Hof
Sound Alex Tugushin
Research Zhanna Ozirna
Executive Producer Elize Kerseboom
Line-producer Laura Peetoom
Editor-in-chief VPRO Barbara Truyen
Produced by Frank van den Engel
THE KYIV FILES is a Zeppers Film production, in co-production with the VPRO and is supported by the Netherlands Film Fund, The Netherlands Film Production Incentive.