Iron Butterflies - web
Iron Butterflies - web

Presented by MIFF

Iron Butterflies

Roman Liubyi | Germany, Ukraine | 2023 | Unclassified (18+)

This event has ended and tickets are no longer available.

In this surreal and haunting documentary, a Ukrainian filmmaker obsessively sifts through the shrapnel of the MH17 plane crash.

When Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over Ukrainian airspace in 2014, killing all 298 passengers on board, international investigators found a Russian missile was responsible. The highly mediated fallout included a swathe of propaganda spread by Russian authorities, who denied involvement, setting a dangerous precedent and auguring their justifications for invading Ukraine in 2022.

Can cinema represent unthinkable violence without becoming complicit? This problem has plagued some of the greatest documentaries of recent years and likewise lies at the heart of Iron Butterflies. Faced with a barrage of misinformation, director Roman Liubyi eschews straightforward reportage for a sensorial assemblage of found and original video – archival footage, media clips, extensive interviews, surreal re-enactments and even interpretive dance – in his search for truth. The result is both a profoundly moving elegy for MH17’s victims and an impassioned plea for global peace

A dive into Man Ray’s surrealist and dreamlike world… extend[ing] his experimentation with photography to the moving image, playing with chance and light.



See below for additional related events


84 mins


Unclassified (18+)


Cinema 2, Level 2
ACMI, Fed Square

Plan your visit

$15 exhibition entry for MIFF ticketholders

Goddess: Power, Glamour, Rebellion

Never-before-seen costumes, original sketches, interactive experiences and cinematic treasures from the icons of the silent era to classic Hollywood heroines and the stars of Bollywood blockbusters.

Show your MIFF ticket at ACMI’s welcome desk to receive this special discount or book online with code MIFF15.

Find out more

More films in the MIFF 2023 program

There are no upcoming related events at this time.

Hero gnocchi - Jake Roden

Looking for dining options?

Our restaurant, bar and cafe in the heart of Fed Square features a seasonally driven menu developed by acclaimed Melbourne chef Karen Martini.

Book a table & find out more
ACMI Shop items - red and blue colour scheme


Melbourne's favourite shop dedicated to all things moving image. Every purchase supports your museum of screen culture.

Shop online
ACMI building at night - photograph by Shannon McGrath

Plan your visit

Visitor guidelines, information on accessibility, amenities, transport, dining options and more.

Start planning

Join our newsletter

Get updates on the latest news, exhibitions, programs, special offers and more.

You might also like