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Introverted Masha sees herself as an outsider, unless she’s with Yana and Senia who share her non-conformist status. While she is trying to navigate the intensity of high school and her pre-graduation year, Masha falls in love in a way that forces her out of her mostly isolated comfort zone. Stop-Zemlia is a radical, authentic, and sensitive glimpse at the unsettling feeling of uncertainty and the reality of friendship and social status and its impact on young growth. Debut Ukrainian director, Kateryna Gornostai, grants remarkable nuance to Masha’s deeply personal story of self-discovery and the existential and emotional turmoil of being young, waiting for life to begin.
Festivals: Berlin (Generation 14+) ’21, Karlovy Vary ’21, Edinburgh ’21, Jeonju ’21, Giffoni ’21
Themes: love, coming of age, friendship, peer pressure, high school dynamics, self-discovery
Advisory: depiction of self harm, mature themes
Feature film recommended for age: 14+