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film by Anna Akulevych

The Lock –

This is the story of two best friends, who returned from the war zone.  Now Petro is a disabled person, in a wheelchair. Andrii is on the verge of psychological crisis, that he carefully tries to hide. Young veterans are attempting to return to civilian life. Each in his own way: Petro gets involved into the Internet relationship with a girl; Andrii openly stands against his authoritarian father for the very first time. Step by step, supporting each other, young men accept who they have become after the war — different people. Because, a warrior truly understands another one, so does a real friend. The film is dedicated to post-traumatic stress disorder and to all of those who struggle to start a new life.


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Anna Akulevych


Anna graduated from the film department, Kyiv National I. K. Karpenko-Kary Theatre, Cinema and Television University. Anna has worked in the film industry and television. Anna Akulevych is known by her film “This is Me” (2013), which was awarded with the Grand-prix at the International Film Festival in Luciano (Italy). This film has also received a special award at the XXV Ankara International Film Festival (Turkey) for “the bright combination of traditions and modern movie language”.

Then there was a documentary film “Jamala.UA”.

In 2017 she graduated from the screenwriting department, Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography a.k.a VGIK (A. Stepanova and N. Fokina workshop). Anna has worked in the authorial group of TV channel “Ukraine” (“Kate`s Love”, “Braid to the Waist”, “Sashka”).


  • "Doll" film (screenwriter, VGIK film studio)
  • "Bomb" film (screenwriter, thesis of the student of department of general stage management in VGIK Dmitriy Bulin)
  • "A Small-Town Girl" television film (main author, "Lean-M" production)
  • "Ask Autumn" series (main author, "FILM.UA" production)
  • "Dr. Baby Dust 3" series ("FILM.UA" production)
  • Since 2019 she is working on the film "The Lock".

Anna Harshyna


Andrii Kotliar


In 2016, he graduated from Kyiv National I. K. Karpenko-Kary Theatre, Cinema and Television University, B. Verzhbitsky workshop.

“Babylon 13” project participant.

As a cameraman filmed short and full-length films, such as “Poor people”, “Sirius”, “Our Nadiya”, “Stronger than Arms”, “Doctors trauma”, “Eastman”.

Currently, he is working on “Iron Butterflies” and “The Lock” films.

Ivanna graduated from National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture (NAOMA) as an art critic, producer. Ivanna headed the promotion department of Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Centre. Ivanna was a project manager of “Love. Live” film almanac, that grossed more than 100,000 UAH, a coordinator of promo-tour of Ukrainian action movie “Chervonyi” (director Zaza Buadze, 2017), PR-manager of “Jamala.UA” and “Lobanovsky Forever” films. Ivanna has coordinated the work of Ukrainian stands during the International Film Festivals in Berlin and Cannes.

Ivanna Khitsinska




What is PTSR?

  • Reliving the traumatic experience

Negative memories of traumatic events can return at any time. Sometimes there is a random trigger that sets off the signal. It can be a sound, a situation, a person, a certain picture or smell of something that reminded and triggered a stress reaction or forced to relive the situation. It is indeed of paradox, that a person may feel the same fear and horror that he or she felt during the traumatic event. So that many veterans and militaries react to the smell of smoke or loud noises with anxiety or anger.

A certain number of people who have moved out of zone of armed conflict can cry or become angry when they hear about “my land, home” etc. Such emotions can be very intense.

  • Avoidance or numbness

People with PTSD try to avoid situations that may remind them of a traumatic event. This includes crowded places, such as shopping malls in cities, or certain natural landscapes (hot and dry areas, such as steppe, field, etc.). They can also shut themselves off, keep out the feeling of fear or pain. Some of them cool their emotions to hide stress reactions.

  • Excessive vigilance or excessive neural excitation

People who have PTSD symptoms may be constantly on a high alert level. They can easily get frightened or angry. Having difficulties to sleep and concentrate are additional symptoms of neural excitation.

  1. If necessary, suggest visiting a specialist who is able to help with his/her concerns, such as a doctor, psychologist or psychotherapist. BUT don’t do it when the military man is angry or in conflict! This may increase the resistance and rejection and can be perceived as violence. Be careful while communicating. He/she also experiences difficulties that undermine the quality of life.
  2. You may suggest your relative (even if he/she is a non-believer) to contact a priest. This visit can be helpful. Religious issues will be discussed only if the serviceman asks for it himself.
  3. The specialist should define the symptoms through interviews and tests.
  4. The mechanism for help is selected considering the interests: it may be psychological help, psychotherapy, participation in veterans projects, relaxation techniques training, physical exercise or medical treatment prescribed by the specialist. Furthermore, the additional knowledge that the military man will receive while being helped mobilizes his/her personal strengths to deal with stress. Then, in a moderate and careful manner, with the help of the specialist, by telling his/her story, he/she will re-work his/her traumatic experience until the memories cease to be painful and turn into an experience that the person has gone through.
Refuse treatment or psychotherapy for PTSD can make life of the military man and his/her entourage difficult. What are the chances for the military man to have PSTD? Likeliness of having PTSD is related to many factors:
  • What kind of help and support he/she received after the traumatic event from the people that felt sorry for him/her (relatives, loved ones, friends or just kind sensitive strangers).
  • – If the society’s condemnation of this event is strong, or if it is important for the group to which the military belongs, if the event concerns many people.
  • How severe the psychological trauma was.
  • If the military was wounded.
  • – The intensity of his/her reactions to traumatic stress.
  • If any of his inner circles was injured or killed.
  • How strong the danger to life was during his service.
  • How badly he lost control of the situation.

Anger is a natural reaction. It assisted in the fight, but in civilian life it can cause additional problems in family communication. If your military man often gets angry:

  • Agree on that any of you at any time can take a break from the conversation, during which the dispute or showdown immediately ceases.
  • Discuss a stop signal (it can be a word or a gesture)
  • Agree on what you will say to each other, where you will be, and what you will do during the break in your relationship.
  • When you are alone do not focus on how angry or insulted you feel, think instead what you will say when you return to the discussion.

After the break:

  • Tell, in turn, what you think about the problem that has not been solved, listen without interrupting each other.
  • Start a conversation with “I…” (for example, “I feel”, “I think…”, avoid sentences that start with “You…” as this may sound like an accusation.
  • Be open to the ideas of the interlocutor.
  • Agree on decisions you make.
  • Focus on your identical thoughts; on the thing, as you both think, that is able to mend fences.

Unfortunately, PTSD may not be the only complication after demobilization. Observe the symptoms of these conditions carefully:


From time to time, being sad and feeling despondent is normal for everyone. However, depression is quite a different thing. It lasts much longer (maybe several months).

The common symptoms are:

  • Feeling that things will never change for the better and there is no hope for future.
  • Feeling of despondency absorbs the majority of time rather than a normal worldview.
  • Loss of interest in hobbies, sports or other activity that brings joy and pleasure.
  • Constant tiredness or lack of strength (especially in the morning)
  • Bad fitful sleep

Suicidal thoughts

Military experience or reactions to combat stress, especially those caused by personal loss, may lead a depressed person to think about causing personal injury or committing suicide. If you notice a person being in this condition — do not waste your time, consult a psychiatrist or any psychological service immediately.

Violence and aggression

Violence takes the following forms: threats, swearing, criticism, throwing objects, conflicts, fighting. Here are some danger signs:

  • Desire to control the behavior of others or jealousy.
  • Shifting responsibility for conflicts and hardship to family members.
  • Significant mood swings.
  • Verbal violence (humiliation, manipulation).
  • Destructive or risky behavior, fierce altercations.

Substance use

For self-medication, militaries often consume alcohol or drugs to block unpleasant thoughts, feelings, or memories related to the experience gained in a war zone. Addiction can be indicated by:

  • Frequent usage of alcohol (daily or weekly in large quantities)
  • Feeling guilty or feeling unwell after drinking
  • Morning withdrawal of hangover syndrome
  • Relatives` anxiety about this.


Explosions cause a high-pressure explosive wave to propagate. It causes traumatic brain damage inside the skull. Helmets do not protect against this trauma.
Up to 80% of all injured in any explosion may have concussion.

Specific symptoms:

  • Dizziness, nausea, vomiting.
  • Bad reaction to noise/light.
  • Reduced visual acuity, pain.

The majority of soldiers with mild forms of concussion do not require special treatment. The symptoms disappear over time and in about a year only about 10% of soldiers will feel its effects.



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