A Sniper’s War 2018 (Olya Schechter, 2018): USA, Russia, Ukraine

Reviewed by Markus Rusti. Viewed at the Santa Barbara Film Festival 2018.

In the sniper’s war, we follow Zeki as a sniper from the enemies side is threatening him. They have been chasing each other for very long, and now that he has threatened Zeki’s family, Zeki has sworn never to leave until the sniper is dead.

A sniper’s war is about the legendary sniper Zeki who comes from Ukraine to fight for the locals who cant protect themselves. In the movie we see Zeki meeting people who are being bombarded by enemies all day and night, begging Zeki to help them with their situation. Zekis anti-US views made him join the Pro-Russia rebels. Now he is using social media to schedule sniper duels.

The filmmaker can get up close with warfighters on the frontlines. We get to see the soldiers eating while bombs and shots are going off around them. At one point when they were entering a firefight, it got too dangerous for the filmmaker, so she had to be followed out by one of the soldiers. At several points throughout the movie, Schechter decided to put a camera on Zeki to capture the intense moments when its just Zeki, his sniper, and his enemy.

We get to see a different side of Zeki. We get to see him talking about his family, his country, and his profession. Zeki talks about what he feels when killing someone, he can’t t remember how many people he’s killed, but he doesn’t lose sleep over it, he says: “I’ve never killed an unarmed man, so I haven’t killed anyone innocent.” Zeki talks a lot about the enemy they’re fighting. He says they came to kill civilians, and we get to see these civilians scared and abandoned. There is a whole town with just one man in it; he won’t leave because he built his house from the ground and its all he’s ever had.

A sniper’s war is an excellent film with a lot of intense moments. It’s unquestionably worth your time if you like the sort of realism that this film presents. It doesn’t add music to a sniper duel because everyone is already at the edge of their seats, and it lets us see the sincerity in people’s eyes before cutting away.

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