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'Superpower': Sean Penn's documentary about Ukraine and Volodymyr Zelenskyy to premiere at Berlinale

Sean Penn's documentary about the ongoing war in Ukraine and Volodymyr Zelenskyy will be screened at the Berlin Film Festival
Sean Penn and Volodymyr Zelensky in 'Superpower,' co-directed by Sean Penn and Aaron Kaufman (Berlinale)
Sean Penn and Volodymyr Zelensky in 'Superpower,' co-directed by Sean Penn and Aaron Kaufman (Berlinale)

BERLIN, GERMANY: Sean Penn's latest documentary on Ukraine and its president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, is set to premiere next month at the Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale). The documentary is named 'Superpower' and Penn co-directs this documentary with Aaron Kaufman. Sean Penn has been researching the film since 2021 and went to Ukraine at the time to research the film. Penn has met with the deputy Prime Minister, the members of the military and local journalists, besides Zelenskyy as the country faces its greatest challenge. 

Penn had also visited Ukraine last November to extend his support to the country. The two-time Oscar winner even handed over one of his Oscars to the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as a show of symbolic support and asked him to bring it back to Malibu when they win the war. In return, Penn was awarded the Order of Merit of the third degree. It is to be noted that Penn visited Ukraine three times before this meeting during the war. 


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According to Deadline, while introducing the documentary, Berlin Artistic Director Carlo Chatrian notes that this is a documentary film that was made under very difficult circumstances. He added that it is also a film that speaks to the role that art and artists can play in difficult times. The documentary focuses on the events in November 2021 and features footage, including that of Penn at Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, during the beginning of Russia's invasion. It also has footage of Penn with Volodymyr Zelenskyy engaged in a one-on-one conversation with the cameras rolling. 'Superpower' is set to be screened as a part of the Berlinale Special Gala Series.

This documentary is said to be one of the hotly anticipated screenings at the festival. The Ukraine-Russia war is still ongoing and this documentary is to be released one year after the invasion of Russia started. The official website of Berlinale states the film is more than a documentary, adding, "'Superpower' is the chronicle of a film project that reality forced to change in to something less controllable but more meaningful." It is also revealed that Penn and Kaufman made this documentary under extremely difficult conditions, during the ongoing war in the country. 


The 2023 Berlin International Film Festival will commence on February 16 and will end on February 26.