Sean Penn, the acclaimed actor and director was in Ukraine around a year ago when Russian forces invaded the country on February 24, 2022. He was there to prepare for his upcoming documentary film, Superpower, which would shed light on the unstable relationship between Ukraine and Russia.
Penn found himself right in the middle of the outbreak of the conflict, which has been going on since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. The conflict has deep roots in centuries-old disagreements and territorial disputes between the two nations.
During the Berlinale film festival, Penn presented his work out of competition and spoke about his views on the conflict. He made it clear that his film is not a non-partisan work because the war is not ambiguous.
Sean Penn’s Ukraine documentary, Superpower
The Hollywood Reporter has reported that the premiere of the film served as the centerpiece for the 2023 Berlinale, which aimed to rally support and solidarity for Ukraine in the cultural sphere.
During the premiere, Penn discussed how the film, which follows the story of a comic actor turned president turned war hero, had already been screened in a private viewing for Zelenskyy and his staff earlier in the week.
The documentary received a standing ovation at its close, and the audience reportedly rose to applaud Zelenskyy during a live video message from the Ukrainian president. Penn also used the opportunity to make a plea for ongoing international support for Ukraine.
Penn explained that he would never make a film about Vladimir Putin as he has no interest in talking to him and considers Putin, a war criminal who has already talked enough.
Penn stressed the importance of showing the truth about the absolute unity of Ukraine in pursuing everything, without which life is meaningless. He also emphasized the need for military help in the form of long-range precision weapons and suitable hardware for defense.
Penn’s film, Superpower, may be biased, as he said, but it aims to provide an accurate representation of the Ukrainian people’s struggle for freedom and unity in the face of aggression from their neighbor.