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Bitter Harvest (2017)

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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 »
7 nominations. See more awards »





Credited cast:
Max Irons ... Yuri
Barry Pepper ... Yaroslav
Terence Stamp ... Ivan
Aneurin Barnard ... Mykola
Samantha Barks ... Natalka
Richard Brake ... Medved
Tom Austen ... Taras
Tamer Hassan ... Sergei
Lucy Brown ... Olena
William Beck ... Stefan
Nicholas Aaron ... Walter Duranty
Edward Akrout ... Professor Temchuck
Michael Jenn ... Professor Malishnikov
Gary Oliver ... Stalin
Jack Hollington ... Lubko


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


Soviet Union. 1933. Stalin's tyranny could destroy their country. But not their love. See more »


Drama | Romance | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official Website




English | Russian

Release Date:

23 February 2017 (Ukraine) 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, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$557,004, 31 March 2017
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Max Irons and Aneurrin Barnard played brothers Edward IV and Richard III, respectively in The White Queen (2013) See more »


Yuri: [Voice over] My Ukraine was a world where legend lived and anything was possible.
See more »


Performed by the "Gulyaygorod" group
Director: Sergey Postolnikov
Courtesy of Andamar Entertainment Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

Bitter Harvest Worth seeing
24 February 2017 | by dreamer-59019See all my reviews

Bitter Harvest is the story of the Holodomor told through the eyes of one family of peasant farmers.

I find that most "critics" are so full of themselves and talk about esoteric crap that 99% of most movie goers to could care less about that render such 'professional" reviews all but worthless.

The story is not about the Holodomor in its totality as the massive act of genocide of the Ukrainian people but rather, it is the love story about a young man in love with a girl from his village and the destruction of their lives as a result of the Holodomor.

In this regard the movie does a fantastic job telling us the story of their lives and the horrific struggles that ensue to just survive. The only minor criticism I have is the romantic leads (Max Irons( Yuri ) and Samantha Barks (Natalka)) lack any real on screen chemistry which makes their romantic scenes seem mildly contrived. The movie does a good job of showing some of the horror perpetrated by Stalin's ruthless starvation of the Ukrainian people. It does not delve deeply into the Holodomor but rather tells the account though the eyes of Yuri and Natalka.

I found the moving to be very moving.

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