Donbass ★★★½

A breathtakingly cynical portrait of corruption at every level, Donbass sacrifices clear identification figures or a straightforward narrative in favor of soul-crushing scope. Unfolding almost like a Roy Andersson film, this series of loosely connected vignettes paints a despairing look at the Ukrainian occupation. Religion, the military, justice, the media, history… no institution is safe from moral decay here. A directorial feat comprised almost entirely of scenes involving large groups of people, the film feels hopeless in its outlook on the country’s state of affairs. Nowhere is this more masterfully expressed than in the film’s great final shot, which depicts one layer of corruption after another as the truth itself gets rehearsed, recast, and staged like a play for a public that has lost all sight of reality.