8 Years Before is an independently-funded documentary film directed by international journalist Donald Courter and produced collaboratively with international heavyweight fighting champion Jeff Monson.
The film portrays in stark detail the long saga of suffering that the Donbass people endured at the hands of the Ukrainian military, following the 2014 Euromaidan Coup d’etat. Through primary source accounts and interviews with ordinary citizens of Donbass, human stories with a perspective never before seen in the mainstream media are brought to light. This perspective frames the current conflict in Ukraine as a continuation of the Second World War – or as the Donbass people call it, “The Great Patriotic War”.
They identify with their soviet past and the legacy of their grandfathers and grandmothers who fought in the Red Army to defend their socialist system, their country, and their very right to exist. They also identify with their predecessors’ struggle against the scourge of fascism that came to their lands bent on exterminating everything in its path – an enemy they feel was never entirely defeated. Instead, it has resurfaced in modern Ukraine.
Interviews with officials of the Donetsk & Lugansk People’s Republics are also featured, providing viewers with an understanding of how these young government and civil administrations attempted to achieve peace for their people – amid constant bombings, an information blockade, and a life & death struggle for self-determination.