Hanging out with friends, smoking too much, spinning bottles and kissing, making mistakes, playing, refusing to accept, dreaming with open eyes — life as a teenager can be overwhelmingly beautiful and difficult at the same time. Introverted high school girl Masha sees herself as an outsider unless she’s hanging out with her two best friends, Yana and Senia, who share her non-conformist status. While trying to navigate through her last year of school, Masha falls in love in a way that forces her out of her comfort zone. In her debut, the Ukrainian director Kateryna Gornostai composes a deeply emotional and multi-layered portrait of a generation while seamlessly flowing between the fictional and the documental.
“STOP-ZEMLIA is an intelligent film about a demographic who are so often approached by adult filmmakers in ways that miss all the nuance, fragility and genuine joy that this film brings to life.” —Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, Alliance of Women Film Journalists “...Creates a convincing world of high school troubles, pains and joys, but also darkly sensitive moments that the viewer easily gets immersed in.” —Vladan Petkovic, Cineuropa