51 user 42 critic

Bitter Harvest (2017)

2:02 | Trailer
Set in 1930s Ukraine, as Stalin advances the ambitions of communists in the Kremlin, young artist Yuri battles to save his lover Natalka from the Holodomor, the death-by-starvation program that ultimately killed millions of Ukrainians.


George Mendeluk


Richard Bachynsky Hoover (screenplay), George Mendeluk (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
5 nominations. See more awards »





Credited cast:
Barry Pepper ... Yaroslav
Terence Stamp ... Ivan
Aneurin Barnard ... Mykola
Richard Brake ... Medved
Max Irons ... Yuri
Tom Austen ... Taras
Samantha Barks ... Natalka
Lucy Brown ... Olena
Nicholas Aaron ... Walter Duranty
Tamer Hassan ... Sergei
Kathy Kiera Clarke ... Varvara
William Beck ... Stefan
Richard Ashton ... Father Ostapovich
Gary Oliver ... Stalin
Edward Akrout ... Professor Temchuck


Set between the two World Wars and based on true historical events, Bitter Harvest conveys the untold story of the Holodomor, the genocidal famine engineered by the tyrant Joseph Stalin. The film displays a powerful tale of love, honour, rebellion and survival at a time when Ukraine was forced to adjust to the horrifying territorial ambitions of the burgeoning Soviet Union. With an exceptional cast of established and rising stars, the film epically recreates one of the most dramatic and dangerous episodes in the history of 20th Century Europe.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


An epic film based on historical facts. See more »


Drama | History | Romance | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Katya is played by Belle Hassan who is Tamer Hassan's daughter. Belle is a contestant on Love Island 2019. See more »


[Last spoken lines, repeated line]
Yuri: [Voice over] My name is Yuri Kachanyuk, the son of Yaroslav Kachanyuk and the grandson of the famous warrior Ivan Kachanyuk. Before I grew up and learned that the dragons were real and evil roamed the world. I fell in love.
See more »


Traditional song, Arranged Anatoliy Mamalyga
Performed by Olha Chornokondratenko (Violin); Anatoliy Mamalyga (Bayan); Ola Herasymenko Oliynyk (Bandura); Tom Barnes (Domra & Contrabass)
Courtesy of Andamar Entertainment Inc.
See more »

User Reviews

Holodomor means murder through starvation
25 March 2017 | by film-89206See all my reviews

The Holodomor killed more people than the Nazi Holocaust or the Young Turks murder of millions of their Christian citizens through the Armenian Genocide.

Bitter Harvest explores the history of this tragic event through the eyes of different villagers. A challenging movie with many well done vignettes, it anticipates the creation of more films about this event.

An important difference between the Holodomor versus the Young Turks murder of millions of Armenians citizens is that the Russians have the courage to admit the painful past, thus opening the door to healing. Perhaps this is one of the universal strengths of the Slavic Soul, to be able to look in the mirror of history and through the pain of introspection create great art.

Sadly, thus far, other than a handful of intellectuals, Turkish government remains trapped within the hell of self-deception denying the crimes committed by its forefathers. This ongoing dance of denial which some call "Erdonial" prevents progress and perhaps is one of the constraints against the creation of great art.

Bitter Harvest is a good film with a strong cast turning in strong performances. It will make a good supplement for history classes, and for those times when one is in the mood for lesser known truths that need to be remembered.

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Official Sites:

Official Website


Canada | UK


English | Ukrainian

Release Date:

24 February 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Devil's Harvest See more »

Filming Locations:

Kyiv, Ukraine See more »


Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$219,357, 26 February 2017

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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