Hollywood actor and director Sean Penn is reportedly on the ground in Ukraine filming a documentary about Russia’s ongoing military operation there. The 61-year-old is making the film in association with VICE World News and Endeavor Content, according to a VICE spokesperson, who declined to provide any further details about the project.
Penn arrived in Kiev on Thursday to “tell the world the truth about Russia’s invasion” of its neighbor, with the Office of the President of Ukraine announcing the actor’s arrival. Penn was seen at a press briefing in the presidential office in Kiev on Thursday, and was also briefly featured in an Instagram story posted by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The Ukrainian government has expressed gratitude to Penn, writing in a statement: “The director specially came to Kyiv to record all the events that are currently happening in Ukraine and to tell the world the truth about Russia's invasion of our country. Sean Penn is among those who support Ukraine in Ukraine today. Our country is grateful to him for such a show of courage and honesty.”
The statement went on to contrast Penn’s “bravery” against the inactivity of some of Ukraine’s Western partners in the face of the military operation launched by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Penn had previously visited Ukraine back in November 2021 to work on another documentary about the Donbass and “Russian aggression.” Back then, he visited the eastern regions of the country and spoke to servicemen. Photos of Penn’s trip were released at the time by the Ukrainian Joint Forces Operation Press Service, where he could be seen dressed in combat gear while filming with his crew.
Sean Penn has been involved in many anti-war and humanitarian operations over the years, releasing a 2020 documentary titled ‘Citizen Penn’ about his efforts to set up a non-profit organization in response to the Haiti earthquake in 2010.