MH17: A Nation’s Grief

Current Affairs & Politics
Malaysia, MH17, The Netherlands, Ukraine
Michiel van Erp
BNN-VARA/De Familie
HD available

In the summer of 2014, the Netherlands received the devastating news that a plane that had departed from Amsterdam was shot down in Ukraine. There were no survivors: two hundred Dutch people were killed. Following the tragedy of flight MH17, the nation turned to mourning, sympathizing with all people who lost a loved one that day. The process of returning the body parts from Ukraine – in 243 coffins – took several months and caused a sense of nationwide grief. Seen through the eyes of three very different families, this film gives an impressive insight into the way the tragedy has affected these people personally. All families live in limbo, unsure whether or not they will ever receive new information regarding their loved ones’ remains.

One family decides to deal with the grief by holding on to religious rituals, whereas another is in constant doubt about planning the funeral, because bodily remains from Ukraine are still being returned home. What is the right time to bury your loved ones when all you have are a handful of bones to say goodbye to? Director Michiel van Erp shows us the different ways families try to get back on their feet after a tragedy like this. The film also reflects on the traumatic stories of Ukrainian villagers who saw dead bodies falling down in their streets, backyards and through their roofs, on the day of the crash.