The Berlin Film Festival saw the world premiere of Sean Penn's highly anticipated documentary on the war in Ukraine, entitled "Superpower." The film was received with a standing ovation from the audience, marking the successful debut of Penn's latest project.
A Personal War Effort
In a post-premiere Q&A session, Penn shared his thoughts on the film and his involvement in the Ukrainian war effort. He stated, "This is not an unbiased film because this is not an ambiguous war.
It's extremely personal." He went on to express his willingness to be labeled as a "propagandist" for the Ukrainian cause, stating, "I'm very happy to be considered a propagandist. I was happy to make an unbiased film because that is the true story we found." Penn co-directed the film with Aaron Kaufman, but its original premise underwent a radical shift after Russia's invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022.
The film offers a depiction of the war's aftermath, as Penn travels to the front lines to meet with soldiers and observe the conflict firsthand.
The Russian Threat
In his remarks, Penn did not shy away from expressing his strong opinions on Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom he referred to as a "creepy little bully." He also called on the Biden administration to send weapons to Kyiv to support Ukraine's war effort, stating, "It's not so much about what if Ukraine loses because they won't, but if Russia wins, we are all fucked.
Just dead-set fucked." He went on to express his belief that America will have to confront a level of shame for not having provided weapons sooner.
Honors for Penn
Off-camera, Penn has received recognition for his involvement in the Ukrainian conflict.
He was awarded the Ukrainian Order of Merit by President Zelensky and was honored with a plaque at a track in Kyiv, recognizing world leaders who have shown solidarity with Ukraine. During a later visit to Ukraine, Penn even lent President Zelensky one of his two Oscars, telling him, "When you win, take it back to Malibu." Sean Penn's "Superpower" provides a unique perspective on the war in Ukraine and the ongoing Russian threat.
Through his personal involvement and commitment to the cause, Penn has solidified his position as a prominent advocate for the Ukrainian people.