Harvest of Despair




The award -winning documentary film HARVEST OF DESPAIR depicts the forgotten holocaust.  While Stalin was selling millions of tons of wheat to Western markets, people in Soviet Ukraine were dying of brutal starvation at a rate of 25,000 a day.  Canadian and American survivors recall the man-made famine in Soviet Ukraine created deliberately in 1932-33 by Stalin’s regime to gain total political control.  Food was used as a weapon.  The press was muzzled in an attempt to cover-up the genocide.  Over 7 million Ukrainians were starved to death, over 3 million were children.  In bringing this tragic history to life through rare archival footage, the film makes an impassioned, timeless plea for humanity.

The documentary evidence in this film includes eyewitness reports, archival material from embassy records, news reports and photographs published at the time and news film footage from the period. Filmmaker Yurij Luhovy viewed more than a million feet of historic stock footage to select 20 mins. (or 720 feet) of  material for the documentary film.

HARVEST OF DESPAIR, winner of over 10 international awards including

First prize, Houston International Film Festival

First prize Gold Medal and Grand Award Trophy,

International Film and T.V. Festival of New York

Special Jury Award and Antoinette Kryski Canadian Heritage Award, Yorkton Film and Video Festival

Strasburg International Film Festival and New York Film Festival (special invitation)


Leonard Klady, Winnipeg Free Press
        “… an unquestionably sobering film …

Bruce Bailey,
The Montreal Gazette
        “a powerful hour-long documentary…”

Rita Feutl,
The Edmonton Sun
        “… the rare archival film footage and photographs paint a stark and gripping picture…”

Gilles Toupin,
La Presse, Montreal
        “…’Harvest of Despair’ est un film éminemment nécessaire.”

Michael J. Pardec, Worcester Telegram
      “… the riveting accounts of the eyewitnesses forge a startling document about yet another incomprehensible nightmare …”

John Dodd,
Edmonton Journal
       “This harrowing, Canadian-made documentary is a superb chronicle of the horror…”

The National Review
       “… With people starving to death under Soviet-dominated regime in Ethiopia, ‘Harvest of Despair’ has achieved a grisly topicality”

Peter Hum,
The Queen’s Journal
       “Shocking as the famine was, the cover up that followed was equally indefensible.”

Rick Groen,
The Globe and Mail
      “… a forceful reminder, a telling memorial to no fewer than one-quarter of a nation’s population…”

John Jantak,
The Suburban, Montreal
      “… an important film because it chronicles man’s inhumanity to man…”

Victor Malarek,
The Globe and Mail
     “… Harvest of Despair paints a shocking picture of the famine and its subsequent cover-up…”

Richard Gay,
Le Devoir
       “Un sujet qui, en regard de la famine dramatique que connaît actuellement l’Éthiopie, paraît tout à fait d’actualité… ”

Paul Lungen,
The Canadian Jewish News
       “The images are alarming, yet disturbingly familiar…”

Olenka Melnyk,
The Edmonton Bullet
       “… the mind reels at the horrific images…”

Gracie MacDonald,
The Concordian, Montreal
      “… successfully presents the kind of truth that many of us will only see on film: human suffering.”

HARVEST OF DESPAIR – 55 min., documentary, color, 1984

Producers:                        Slavko Nowytski and Yurij Luhovy
Produced by U.F.R.C. Production
with the Assistance of: The National Film Board of Canada
   and  The Secretary of State, Multiculturalism Canada

                                    Contact: info@ucrdc.org  /  www.ucrdc.org or Yevshan Montreal