Criminologists will tell you that hostage-taking has a long history as a method, with various degrees of effectiveness, used to elicit concessions from individuals, organisations, and governments.
The concessions are usually personal or political. Hostage situations can also take place as a last resort when a criminal feels like they have run out of options.
For the most part, the motivation is clear, and the demands are often difficult to meet.
Then there’s what happened in Ukraine on July 21, when a man armed with an automatic rifle and grenades took a bus, with 13 people onboard, hostage.
He did so to demand something from the Ukrainian government, but his demands were a little on the odd side, and in this case, quite easy to deliver. Perhaps the weirdest part is that they involved Joaquin Phoenix.
And no, this wasn’t another weird reaction to a Joker film.
The hostage-taker, Maksym Kryvosh, is clearly a fan. Before we delve into that, some background on the situation, via the Telegraph before Kryvosh made his demands:
After a stand-off with police that involved gunfire and grenades, Kryvosh eventually released the hostages on July 22, after his demands were met:
Per The Guardian:
[Kryvosh] surrendered to police […] after the country’s president consented to his demand to recommend the 2005 animal rights documentary Earthlings, narrated by Joaquin Phoenix.
The niche film recommendation, delivered by President Volodymyr Zelenskiy over Facebook, helped end an hours-long standoff… where Kryvosh seized a bus and demanded that dozens of government officials admit to being “terrorists”.
He’s an animal rights activist, in case you hadn’t figured that out already.
Here’s the trailer for the film if you’re intrigued:
In his address on Facebook, the president said the following:
“The film Earthlings from 2005. Everyone should watch it,” Zelenskiy said in the video released over Facebook. It was deleted after Kryvosh surrendered and replaced with a note thanking police and others who helped end the hostage crisis.
“The film … is a good one. And you don’t have to be so screwed up and cause such a horror for the whole country – you can watch it without that.”
Perhaps the most apt response comes from Ukrainian interior minister, Arsen Avakov, who said, “The film … is a good one. And you don’t have to be so screwed up and cause such a horror for the whole country – you can watch it without that”.
[imagesource: Facebook / Margaret Murdaugh] The Murdaughs have been one of the most pow...
[imagesource: Photo Illustration by Sean McCabe] Before there was Spotify, and curated ...
[imagesource: Facebook] Yet another tale of a doctor surreptitiously impregnating his p...
[imagesource: TIME] The TIME has arrived. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been n...
[imagesource: YouTube / WKMG News] In this day and age, we see so many video clips of v...