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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.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
4 nominations. See more awards »





Credited cast:
... Yuri
... Yaroslav
... Mykola
... Ivan
... Medved
... Natalka
... Taras
... Sergei
... Stefan
... Olena
... Walter Duranty
... Lubko
... Professor Temchuck
... Father Ostapovich
... Professor Malishnikov


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 | Romance | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

Official Website




Release Date:

23 February 2017 (Ukraine)  »

Also Known As:

Devil's Harvest  »

Filming Locations:



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

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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


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


Title card: [at the end of the film]
Title card: Only a few made their way past Stalin's border guards and escaped to freedom. The genocidal famine created by the Soviets in 1932/33 is known today as the Holodomor - Death by Starvation. The full horror of this deliberate policy of genocide towards Ukraine was revealed only after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. In 2003, Russia signed a U.N. declaration confirming that the Holodomor had taken the lives of between 7 and 10 million innocent people. Today, the ...
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Lucia Di Lammermoor: Tu Che A Dio Spiegasti L'Ali
Composed by Gaetano Donizetti
Performed by Tito Schipa
Master Recording courtesy of Wyastone Estate Limited
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User Reviews

To understand the present, need to know the past
25 February 2017 | by See all my reviews

The Holodomor in Ukraine, the genocidal famine planned by Stalin and his commissars that killed millions in 1932-33, was a Soviet policy of forced starvation and is a cruel little known period in the history of the 20th century. Maybe it was too optimistic to try and cover the fall of the Russian czar, WW1, the Bolshevik/Russian revolution, the death of Lenin and the rise of Stalin and the genocidal famine in Ukraine, in 100 minutes. And then make all the horror of that period less terrible with a hopeful love story. Too much horrible history in too little time. However, someone had to try so kudos to the director for that effort. That period of history was deeply cruel and it's hard to imagine how else to make the story palatable. Visually, the movie is terrific. The brutality in some scenes, although no doubt historically accurate, is tough to watch. I thought the local commissar was very effective in his cruelty, and in comparison, the Stalin figure almost seemed like a lightweight. A number of the professional critic reviews sound downright snarky. This isn't an easy move to watch or an easy story to tell. And while there is plenty of room for suggestions of how to improve, it is not a movie of no value as some wrote. The accusations of exaggeration and melodrama are actually bizarre. I think the famine and the horrors of communism, which my parents and grandparents lived through, were no doubt much worse than depicted here.

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