Oleg Sentsov

Oleg Sentsov is a Ukrainian filmmaker and writer from Crimea, best known for his 2011 film Gamer. In May 2014, after participating in the 2013–’14 Euromaidan demonstrations that led to the overthrow of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, Sentsov was arrested on suspicion of plotting terrorist acts. Russian authorities sentenced him to 20 years in prison, causing an outcry by international human rights groups. He has been honored with numerous awards during his detention, including the 2016 Shevchenko National Prize of Ukraine, the 2017 PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award, and the European Parliament’s 2018 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. In September 2019, shortly after Volodymyr Zelensky took office as Ukraine’s president, Sentsov was released in a prisoner swap between Russia and Ukraine. Sentsov’s work includes several scripts, plays, and essays, as well as two short films, A Perfect Day for Bananafish (2008) and The Horn of the Bull (2009). A collection of his stories, Life Went on Anyway, appeared in Uilleam Blacker’s English translation from Deep Vellum Publishing in 2019, shortly before his release from prison.


The Soul of Post-Maidan Ukraine: On Andriy Lyubka’s “Carbide” and Oleg Sentsov’s “Life Went on Anyway: Stories”