Director: Kateryna Gornostai

Genre: Drama

Cast: Maria Fedorchenko, Arsenii Markov, Yana Isaienko, Oleksandr Ivanov

122 minutes:  Ukraine, 2021

Navigating the emotional turmoil of waiting for life to begin while hanging around with classmates, Stop-Zemlia anchors its open-ended narrative around the introverted Masha.  She’s a little in love, mildly concerned about her university entrance exam, and it seems she’s carrying every emotion she’s ever felt on her delicate frame. The uncertainty she feels about herself and the world around her is palpable, but helping her get by are her best friends Yana and Senia.

Kateryna Gornostai’s Stop-Zemlia is a deeply personal story about self-discovery and the patience it requires.  For most of the actors it was their first time in a film, and for all of them it was their first time in a feature film, yet the young performers have a chemistry that is lovely to behold.  Awarding Stop-Zemlia the Berlinale Crystal Bear for Best Feature Film in the Generation 14plus section the jury praised it “as an authentic coming-of-age story.” 

A nuanced yet jubilant view of Ukrainian youth, creating a universal experience that nearly anyone can relate to. Frank Jaffe, Altered Innocence 

Blurring the lines between documentary and fiction, Stop-Zemlia is a sympathetic portrait of the tidal forces of teenage-hood. Kevin Jagernauth, The Playlist  

A tender reminder of the uncertainty of youth as it begins to give way to adulthood and independence. Oliver Johnston, The Upcoming  

How our generation dreams, feels and experiences life. Berlinale Youth Jury

 I can’t go back or forward anymore – I only have now. Masha