SynopsisOn July 17, 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down by Russian forces over eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board. The reality of this attack, and its possible ramifications for the then-ongoing war in Donbas and the West’s relationship with Russia, was immediately questioned by the Russian government and media. As voluminous evidence — including physical artifacts like the butterfly-shaped shrapnel found in the bodies of the pilots — piled up, the lies denying reality only became more outlandish and incredible.
In a world where violence can only be defended by lies, and lies only maintained by violence, Iron Butterflies presents the truth of what happened to MH17, but also what was at stake by not confronting it. Director Roman Liubyi uses a wealth of visual material and individual testimonies to craft this artful yet evidence-driven examination of a turning point in recent world history. This act of mass murder not only destroyed so many people’s lives and the possible future that they could have built — it contained the seeds of the future we now live in. [SUNDANCE FF 2023]