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“20 Days in Mariupol” director accepts Oscar for Ukrainian war doc: 'I wish I'd never made this film'

“20 Days in Mariupol” director accepts Oscar for Ukrainian war doc: 'I wish I'd never made this film'

Director Mstyslav Chernov won the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature, marking the first Ukrainian film to win the award.

20 Days in Mariupol director Mstyslav Chernov gave a powerful speech while accepting the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature.

Chernov won the award for his unflinching documentary, which chronicles the brutal Russian invasion of Ukraine and the siege of Mariupol. Chernov, an AP journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner, was trapped in the city with his colleagues for 20 days. The film chronicles the chaos and brutality of the war.

“This is the first Oscar in Ukrainian history, and I’m honored,” Chernov told the crowd. “But probably I will be the first director on this stage who will say: ‘I wish I’d never made this film.’ I wish to be able to exchange this [for] Russia never attacking Ukraine, never occupying our cities.”

<p>PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images</p> '20 Days in Mariupol' director Mstyslav Chernov (center) accepts the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature

PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

'20 Days in Mariupol' director Mstyslav Chernov (center) accepts the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature

“I wish for them to release all the hostages, all the soldiers who are protecting their lands, all the civilians who are now in their jails,” Chernov continued. “But I cannot change the history. I cannot change the past. But we all together — among you are some of the most talented people in the world — we can make sure that the history record is set straight and that the truth will prevail. And the people of Mariupol and those who have given their lives will never be forgotten. Cinema forms memories, and memories form history."

20 Days in Mariupol premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2023, earning rave reviews. In the Best Documentary Feature category, it beat out fellow nominees Bobi Wine: The People’s President, The Eternal Memory, Four Daughters, and To Kill a Tiger.

The 96th Academy Awards aired Sunday, March 10, on ABC. See the full list of 2024 Oscar winners here.

Check out more from EW's The Awardistfeaturing exclusive interviews, analysis, and our podcast diving into all the highlights from the year's best in TV.

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Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.