Konowal: The Man Behind the Medal
Catalogue Number: GF0004
Producer: Guerrilla Films
Subject: Canadian History, Canadian Social Studies, Canadian World Studies, Documentary, History, Social Studies
Grade Level: 6 - 8, 9 - 12
Country Of Origin: Canada
Copyright Year: 2017
Running Time: 46
Closed Captions: Yes
The narrative follows the life of Filip Konowal, the only Ukrainian Canadian to receive the Victoria Cross, awarded for his part in the Battle of Hill 70 and Vimy Ridge. His war-time exploits are almost unbelievable, killing 22 of the enemy in 48 hours, sometimes with his bare hands. But it came with a price. At first welcomed home as a hero, Konowal began to suffer severe PTSD (undiagnosed at the time) and was eventually committed to an institution. While he was under psychiatric care, the Canadian government began deportation proceedings to have him sent back to what was at this point the USSR — where he would face imprisonment or worse. The government, overwhelmed by the demands from returning veterans, decided in the 1920s to deport any wounded vets who were not naturalized citizens. Against all odds, Konowal prevailed and even found himself working on Parliament Hill in the 1940s for Mackenzie King.
SILVER AWARD: North American Film Awards
PLATINUM AWARD: Houston Worldfest
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