Get essential California coverage delivered to your inbox


Stephen Frears
In war-torn Ukraine, a film festival as tonic
In war-torn Ukraine, a film festival as tonic

In early May, this picturesque city on the Black Sea suffered a surprising, gruesome tragedy. Forty-eight people were killed when Ukrainian nationalists and pro-Russian separatists faced off in a bloody street fight that culminated in a fire at a trade-union building. It was the most deadly civil conflict to visit Odessa in 95 years. People here still talk of the day in hushed tones, referring to it only as "the events of the Second of May." Impromptu memorials have been erected along the route where victims died. The trade union's hollowed-out center and badly charred facade are still easily visible in the center of town. And yet just a few blocks away this week, a very...