Frozen Conflict

Documentary by Steffi Wurster, 60min, 2018


Three soldiers are standing guard at the riverbank. Not a particularly dramatic situation, more a sort of „Waiting for Godot“. A Moldavian, a Transnistrian and a Russian peacekeeper – soldiers of different conflicting parties – are doing service together in post No.6. Their weapons suggest a dangerous conflict zone, but the surroundings could hardly be more harmless. Where is the enemy? Why all this fuss?

With this question in mind, the documentary sets out in search of the „conflict“ between the Republic of Moldova and Transnistria. Beyond the peaceful micro level of the ‘peace post’, dynamics at the macro level of local and international politics are much more confrontational. Contradictory and self-serving views of politicians condemn the post-Soviet conflict and the region as a whole, to a quasi-permanent stalemate of hearts and minds. Under Germany`s OSCE chairmanship in 2016, the dialogue, which had collapsed since the Ukraine crisis, was at least resumed.

Film shots of model rooms sneak in between the documentary shots. Why have decades of negotiations never brought a solution? With surprising pieces of the puzzle, Frozen Conflict continues to shift our perspective on this (geo-) political conflict and the interests of the main actors involved: Russia and the West. Reflection on a peace mission.