Millikin to hold screening of the award-winning documentary ‘20 Days in Mariupol’

The first down-state Illinois showing of the documentary is a part of Millikin’s Constitution Day celebration.

20 Days in Mariupol

DECATUR, Ill. – To commemorate Constitution Day, the federal holiday that commemorates the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787, Millikin University will host a screening of the award-winning documentary “20 Days in Mariupol,” which is the story of an Associated Press team of Ukrainian journalists trapped in the besieged city of Mariupol during the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022. 

“Every year, we commemorate Constitution Day at Millikin University with events on different aspects of the United States Constitution. This year, we focus on the fight for freedom and democracy in Ukraine by screening the documentary film “20 Days in Mariupol,” Millikin Associate Political Science Professor Laura Dean said. “This documentary was released in July and our showing at Millikin University is the first showing of the film in down-state Illinois documenting the dramatic escape and harrowing footage on the front line of Russia's war against Ukraine.”


The film will be screened in the Bob and Debi Johnston Banquet Room on the third floor of the University Commons on Millikin’s campus on Tuesday, Sept. 19, at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. The film contains images of war and violence that could be disturbing to some viewers.

Political Science students will be collecting donations for the organization For Peace, which provides direct people-to-people distribution of humanitarian, medical and protective aid along the frontlines.

20 Days in Mariupol
Photographer Evgeniy Maloletka points at smoke rising after a strike on a maternity hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine, on March 9, 2022. Photo by Mstyslav Chernov. 

‘20 Days in Mariupol’ was directed by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Mstyslov Chernov and has been honored with several awards during the 2023 film festival circuit, including winning the Audience Award for World Cinema Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival. 

The film draws on Chernov’s daily news dispatches and personal footage of his country at war. It offers a harrowing account of civilians caught in the siege and a window into what it’s like to report from a conflict zone and the impact of such journalism around the globe.

This event is sponsored by Millikin’s School of Social Science, Sociology Club and History and Political Science Club.

20 days in Mariupol

About Constitution Day

Constitution Day commemorates the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787. The commemoration of this day was codified in 1940 when Congress passed a resolution authorizing the President to publicly recognize all who had attained the status of American citizenship. In 1952, Congress moved the date to September 17 to commemorate “the formation and signing of the Constitution.” In 2004, Congress changed the designation of this day to "Constitution Day and Citizenship Day" and required educational institutions, such as Millikin, to hold a program for students every year.