The world media caught fire on July 17th, 2014 when Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down over pro-Russian separatist territory in the Ukraine. All 283 passengers and 15 crew members were killed in the catastrophe, figures that combined to make up both the deadliest air incident in the history of the Ukraine, as well as the deadliest shooting down of a commercial flight worldwide.
The disaster sparked a heated global debate amongst world powers as to who was at fault, declarations that the killers would be brought to justice and the bodies brought home at all costs, and a number of implications that the Russian government was far more on the hook for the deaths than they were accepting responsibility for.
MH17: Caught in the Crossfire deeply probes into issues relating to the incident, both direct and indirect, and takes the audience to the region of the Ukraine where a battle is waging between pro and anti-Russian Ukrainians. The filmmakers also pay heavy attention to the process of excavating the human remains from the crash site, the transporting of them to their rightful resting places, and the abundance of controversy that stemmed from those efforts.
After fully examining the crash and the people that occupy the territory it took place in, the film turns to the ensuing military actions that Vladimir Putin initiated following the incident, and the political controversy that ensued as a result. A great number of pundits and media personnel were quick to spin the actions as having ulterior motives, and many global powers took the bait and condemned them publicly.
The film closes on a story as positive as one could be on the subject matter, following Dutch journalist Rudy Bouma, who was the first Dutch reporter to cover the wreckage from the crash site. Having close personal connections to one of the victims and experiencing the aftermath firsthand, Bouma decided to pick a number of the sunflowers from the vast fields of them the plane crashed into, and take them to Holland to be part of a photography memorial for the victims and their families.