Culture News Society, 22/11/2017

Man’s Way to Freedom

Yesterday November 21, the premiere of a documentary “Soul Hunter” was held in Kharkiv Dovzhenko cinema; the screening was dedicated to the anniversary of Euromaidan.

The film presents a story and existential thoughts of a renown Kharkiv scientist and priest of a Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Kyiv Patriarchate, Viktor Marynchak who was one of those priests who gave a blessing to the participants of Euromaidan and held public liturgies for the protesters’ gatherings in Kharkiv.

“This is not a film about my life,” says Viktor Marynchak, who is an unquestionable moral authority in Kharkiv intellectual community. “This is rather a story about people of my generation who lived in a totalitarian state and were able to find their way to break free. And somehow this fight against the pressure of ideological communist prison and labyrinth has been linked to religion.”

Viktor Marinchak2

The story of strengthening one person’s spirit and his going through tribulations to freedom is closely connected with the reconstruction of the Temple of St. John the Theologian – one of the most ancient churches in Kharkiv. A monument of history and culture of the second half of the XIX century was turned into a warehouse during Soviet times and was half ruined.

The episode of 1991 when then young father Viktor is telling about his spiritual choice and decision to reconstruct the church stirred a wave of warm emotions of the audience.

“They had been trying to ruin the church, but they failed. As church had that spirit of freedom and life,” says Viktor Marynchak. The philosopher adds that one of the main film messages is the creative power of love and passion – the key incentive of life.

The film presented a poem by the priest’s daughter – Natalia Marynchak, who also appears in the documentary.

Several hundred people attended the premiere; the cinema hall was full of volunteers and activists, well-known in Kharkiv. Therefore, the authors had to hold an additional screening to show the movie to all who had come.


The documentary author Volodymyr Chistilin hopes the film will be broadcasted on national TV channels soon.

Text: Olena Sokolynska

Photo: Leonid Lohvinenko