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Hell Jumper is the story of the war in Ukraine seen through the eyes – and the footage – of a group of volunteers saving strangers’ lives in one of the most dangerous places on earth. It’s a film about youth, drive and a relentless search for meaning.

At the heart of the film is 28 year old Chris Parry from Cornwall, who, without telling his family, decided to jump into a white van and head into Ukraine. There, he hooked up with a rag-tag bunch of civilian ‘evacuators’ from all over the world – so-called “Hell Jumpers” - crowdfunding vehicles and equipment to help people escape their burning homes.

But Chris and his friends were as interested in Tik Tok and Instagram as they were frontline rescues. They would upload footage of their daring rescue missions or near misses to social media, to be witnessed first-hand by friends, family and a growing audience of followers.

Over time, the missions grew riskier and Chris was driven deeper and deeper into the danger zone, and ultimately into the deadly hands of the Wagner Group. He was shot dead trying to save an elderly woman trapped in her home.

Now, Chris’ extraordinary story will be told for the first time, alongside the past and present stories of his fellow evacuators and friends on the frontline. Using an extraordinary archive of self-shot material, social media and video diaries, Hell Jumper is a uniquely first person, modern perspective on war. The film explores the sense of differing realities: the “upside down” hyper-real conflict co-existing with banal, everyday life, and the enduring legacy of Chris

Hell Jumper w/t, a 1x90 for BBC Two and iPlayer, is made by Expectation. It was commissioned by Clare Sillery, Head of Commissioning, Documentaries.


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