UCRAINA, POLONIA, GERMANIA – 2021 – DCP – colore – 101’

Direction: Oleh Sentsov
Screenplay: Oleh Sentsov
Cinematography: Bogumi? Godfrejów
Editing: YKarolina Maciejewska
Set design: Yuriy Grigorovich
Music: Andriy Ponomariov
Costumes: Kostiantyn Kravets
Cast: Serhii Filimonov (Nosorih), Margo Dumas (Chick), Pavlo Shpegun (Tip), Oleksandr Rudynskyy (Rudyi), Yevhen Grygoriev (Plyus), Alina Zevakova (Maryna)
Producers: Denis Ivanov, Oleh Sentsov in collaborazione con Dariusz Jab?o?ski, Violetta Kami?ska, Izabela Wójcik , Heino Deckert
Production: Arthouse Traffic, Cry Cinema in collaborazione con Apple Film Production, Ma.Ja.De
Distribution: Movies Inspired


In an industrial provincial city of 1990s Ukraine, we meet a young man nicknamed “Rhino”: as a kid he was an aggressive delinquent, now turned violent criminal. We watch him grow against the background of the trials and tribulations of his family and love life. Navigating through the post-Soviet era in a ruthless society, Rhino quickly rises through the ranks of a local criminal gang, but his rise to leadership is not without devastating sacrifices for his life and his loved ones. As we delve into Rhino’s journey, with the world around him crumbling, the inner conflict that’s tearing him apart intensifies. Will he be able to find redemption before it is too late? A multi-layered exploration of the dark side of human nature, Rhino is a stark portrait of a young man’s journey as he tries to live with the burdens of his youth and struggle with his own inner moral conflict.


“The movie Rhino is built on two periods: the past and the present. The chronological reinterpretation of the life story of the main character, Rhino, starts from his childhood and ends with his “underground” activity in Germany. This takes place in the past. Then there is a single long conversation broken into four separate fragments, carried on in a car with a particular character; this takes place entirely in the present. The conversation takes the form of a life confession and an interrogation, ranging between different topics that serve to reveal the inner world of the film’s protagonist, his essence. The defined periods change both in “color” and in rhythm. The largest time frame, the past, is filmed in warm tones and has a dynamic, eventful pace with a greater variety of framing shots. A dark terracotta red characterizes the entire film, with apartment buildings, sidewalks and even the city ground filmed in this color. In fact, this color is the result of the dust and particles that cover the city of Kryvyi Rih, an industrial city where iron ore is processed. In the movie, red color recalls dried blood, Rhino’s life travel companion. On the other hand, the sequences set in the present are anchored to a rainy autumn evening, creating a more captivating and intimate look with cool blue-black tones. The main character is played by
a novice actor; he was discovered during a ten-month casting that examined more than 700 people including former inmates, military personnel and professional athletes. The rest of the cast is made up of professionals, who help the leading actor grow in his role, develop as a character, move in sync with the camera and be part of a whole whose aim is to achieve an idea of verisimilitude. More than 500 background actors for the sets and crowd scenes were chosen from the local population of Kryvyi Rih, the industrial city in central Ukraine where the film was shot. In this way, I created a realistic setting for Rhino’s hometown. Each frame of this film is saturated with the characters’ essence, details, peculiarities, touches and nuances, with their characteristics and habits, including their flaws and lack of refinement. The film is extremely rhythmic and dynamic, an effect obtained with both the rapid cuts of the editing and with the density of the action and the abundance of events represented.
Rhino is not, essentially, a movie about crime, murder and shootings. It is a film about a man who has lived through a difficult period, who is now trying to deal with the inner torment that he carries with him. I am not interested in representing how a man kills another man, but I’m rather interested in understanding what the author experiences during and after the deed and how he manages to live with it later.”

2021 Mostra del Cinema di Venezia – Horizons
2021 Batumi Int. ArtHouse FF – Competition: Best Actor to Serhii Filimonov
2021 Stockholm FF: Bronze Horse, Best Actor to Serhii Filimonov
2022 Lubuskie Film Summer – Fiction Films: Golden Grape