The lyrics to “You’ll Never Walk Alone” were recited by the people of Ukraine in a powerful film to mark the first anniversary of the Russian invasion.
The minute-long video released by the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) shows the devastation unleashed by Vladimir Putin’s warwith millions unable to return to their homelands after being forced to flee.
It starts with a black screen and the caption: “Ukraine. February. 2023.” A cast of actors still living in Ukraine then recite lines from the anthem Gerry and the Pacemakers, to music by German-born British composer and pianist Max Richter.
A young boy, seen sitting on a swing in front of a hollow tower, utters the iconic phrase, “And fear not the dark, at the end of a storm.”
The footage, shot this month, also shows a boy in a bomb shelter, a doctor in a hospital, a couple and a dog owner outside their home, and a woman and child sitting in a bus.
Titled “Never Alone”, it was made by a mostly Ukrainian crew and shot using a remote camera.
Although the people featured in the film are actors, they represent real life stories of people who have been helped by DEC charities.
The video ends with a black screen saying, “The UK has raised over £400m for the people of Ukraine did not walk alone” and images of aid workers who traveled to the country to offer aid.
The DEC Humanitarian Appeal for Ukraine has raised £414m since its launch on March 3, 2022, including £25m donated by the government through the UK Aid Match programme.
During the first six months of the response only, assistance provided using DEC funds included (but not limited to):
- 1.9 million people have access to drinking water
- 392,000 people received food aid, including hot meals and food parcels
- 338,000 people received cash payments to meet their basic needs
- 127,000 people had access to basic services in transit centers for displaced people
- 71,000 people accessed primary health care services
- 114,000 people who received legal aid and support
- 10,000 people temporarily housed
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Director Rick Dodds said: “This film is a time capsule of Ukraine in February 2023 – exactly one year since the start of the conflict.
“We cast Ukrainians still living there – so we could capture their resilience, strength and Ukrainian stoicism for everyone to see.
“The poetic lyrics of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ then took on a different power when spoken by this cast in such dramatic and real places.
“For example, a woman stood outside her house that was destroyed saying ‘well your dreams are thrown and blown’. Or a young boy in an air raid shelter saying ‘with hope in your heart’. “
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The DEC’s director of fundraising and marketing, Simon Beresford, hailed the “incredible generosity” of the British public.
“We are really proud to have been able to work with a Ukrainian cast and crew to make this film,” he said.
“Choosing to shoot in Ukraine added layers of complication to the project, but we think it made it much more authentic and impactful.
“Everyone who worked on the film in Ukraine was affected in one way or another by the conflict and their creative input was invaluable to the project.”