The brutality of the Nazi occupation intrudes on bucolic Ukrainian village life. To avenge innocent people coldly executed, the young local partisan Vassyl kills a German officer. Wounded, he is transported by his friend to a nearby village. The occupants vow to kill the whole village if the perpetrator is not found and delivered to them. Tormented, Vassyl wonders what he should do. Resistance has less to do with ideology than with conscience.
Born in 1930 and died in 1984 in Kiev (Ukraine). Imprisoned for five years in the late 1940s for ‘bourgeois nationalism’ and rehabilitated in 1956, director Volodymyr Denysenko filmed Conscience in 1968 with his own students, who during the shooting of the film stayed in the small town where it was filmed, exchanging their labour for food and lodging. Conscience was shelved for more than two decades. The director did not live long enough see it on the screen. ‘Conscience’ was released only in 1991, the year of Ukrainian independence (24 August), and was screened at Kyiv’s First All-Ukrainian Film Festival.