Ukraine

Pancakes, penguins, and war.

Movie: Outside the Wire

Outside The Wire Review: Great Action Can't Save A Generic Movie - The  Illuminerdi
Photo copyright: The Illuminerdi

I didn’t have a lot of options when it comes to Ukrainian movies, so I ended up watching this new movie. It’s set in Ukraine in the 2030s, after a civil war (I think). The US military maintains a demilitarized zone, while everything else is deemed “outside the wire.” A drone pilot is sent to the DMZ, where he is put under an android officer (Anthony Mackie). Their mission takes them outside the wire, which is also the pilot’s first time in combat, not from behind his computer screen. Outside the Wire definitely doesn’t glorify war or the US military. Harp, the pilot, is forced to take some hard looks at the results of his drone strikes. The movie also raises some questions about sentient robots or androids being used in warfare, which is to be expected from a robot movie.

Food: Honey Walnut Pancakes

Okay, I’m not entirely sure how Ukrainian these are, but I did get the recipe from a Ukrainian food blog. I had planned on doing a different recipes involving potatoes, but every potato I bought was rotten from the inside. So I struggled to find a recipe that didn’t use potatoes, or beets, which I can’t get either. These pancakes were really easy to make, and really good as well. After having a few of them the honey and walnut filling started to feel a little too sweet, since there’s also honey in the pancakes. When I used up the leftover batter the next day, I used blueberry jam as the filling which was also good. I think you could use pretty much any sort of fruit or sweet filling and it would be good.

Book: Death and the Penguin by Andrey Karkov

I didn’t remember anything about the summary of this book when I checked it out, so I went in totally blind. I was expecting more of a crime novel from the title, but it actually wasn’t. The main character, Viktor, writes obituaries of famous people for a newspaper, the ones they keep on file so they can publish them immediately. However, at some point he notices that every obituary he writes ends up getting published shortly after… He also just happens to have a pet penguin, named Misha. To differentiate between another character named Misha, the human is called Misha-non-penguin. I really wasn’t expecting this book to be funny, but there were quite a few funny moments. It didn’t end like I thought it would, so I was a bit surprised when I got to the last page and realized the book was over. Overall, I enjoyed Death and the Penguin quite a bit. I kept thinking about it when I wasn’t reading, or waking up in the middle of the night wondering something about the penguin.

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