Russian TV to show action movie about South Ossetia war

photo_big_1021812MOSCOW – The first film about last August’s war between Russia and Georgia over South Ossetia is to be broadcast on Russian television at primetime on Sunday.

The made-for-TV movie, directed by Igor Voloshin, is called “Olympus Inferno” and tells the story of a Michael, a young Russian-American entomologist who comes to South Ossetia to film a rare species of night butterfly. 

He then meets Zhenya, a young female Russian journalist, and together they head out to a nature reserve to set up a camera. The camera then captures the Georgian assault on the republic, and Michael and Zhenya realize that they have the evidence to counter Western claims that Russia and South Ossetia began the war.

“In order to bring the truth to the world, Michael and Zhenya have to make their way through Georgian-occupied territory to the ruins of Tskhinval,” the publicity for the film reads.

The film was shot in Abkhazia, another former Georgian republic. Zhenya is played by Russian actress Polina Filonenko and Michael by Russian-born Israeli actor Henry David.

Cult Serbian director Emir Kusturica is also said to be making a film about the five-day war.

Georgia’s attack on South Ossetia, which led to Russia’s operation to “force Georgia to peace,” was barely mentioned in the initial mainstream Western media reports on the war, which largely portrayed Russia as the sole aggressor in the conflict.

The picture changed in November 2008, however, with Western media coverage shifting a large proportion of the blame to Georgia and calling Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili’s decision to begin hostilities a “mistake.”

Independent observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe have said they are unable to verify Georgia’s claim that Russia bombarded Georgian villages in the run-up to the conflict. Georgia based its justification for its attack on South Ossetia on the alleged Russian bombardment.

South Ossetia and Abkhazia split from Georgia in bloody post-Soviet conflicts, and the residents of both republics have had Russian citizenship for many years.

Russia recognized South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states on August 26, 2008. President Dmitry Medvedev said that the move was “the only way to protect people’s lives.” Western powers called the decision unacceptable.

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