Hot Docs 2024: Our Review of ‘Intercepted’

Posted in Hot Docs 2024 by - May 01, 2024
Hot Docs 2024: Our Review of ‘Intercepted’

As quoted by Sun Tzu in his book The Art of War, all warfare is based on deception. This speaks highly to the dichotomy of thought built by filmmaker Oksana Karpovych, using images of destruction and now day-to-day life experiences of the Ukrainian people overlaid with recorded phone conversations from Russian military members to family back in their homeland.

The juxtaposition between these two elements – one based in reality and the other rooted in propaganda, brings a sense of deep uncomfort to the viewer throughout the film. This documentary is atypical in nature, as it speaks on deeply sensitive subject matter through the form of found footage of broken homes and basic human connection through wartorn spaces, layered with inmate conversations between soldiers and family, demonstrating the ultimate power perspective has on our actions in the world as we know it.

For myself, it was to the point where I had to stop watching Intercepted for moments just to bring myself back into my body due to the horrors and cruelty discussed at such casual lengths by family members from Russia. They’re obviously deeply misinformed about the true tragedies taking place in their neighboring country. In a way, it almost brings a sense of humanity to both parties: we only do with what we know, and what we know isn’t always right. 

This film isn’t for the faint of heart, but also seems necessary in a time period when so many of us don’t see the whole story. Information is power, and Karpovych has created a beautifully cryptic portrayal of how misinformation is the greatest enemy against us all. 

And it goes without saying, Slava Ukraini. 

This post was written by
Caitie Talty is a teacher in Edmonton, Alberta currently working on her Master's in Educational Studies. As a lover of all things literacy, she is beginning her deep dive into obscure films and texts, and finding new ways to speak her thoughts on both elements into public existence. Outside of building on her film education, she enjoys spending time with her partner, traveling the world, and trying to pet every dog she crosses paths with.
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