|23.02. / Monday, 22:00 - 00:00 Theatre 3|
“You want to make the news?” a protest leader calls out halfway through Maidan. The answer from the crowd on and around Kiev’s Independence Square is affirmative. And they certainly have. The protests against corrupt president Viktor Yanukovych were televised daily starting in November 2013. Since then, Ukraine has continued to dominate the news with a completely out-of-control conflict in which half the world is now involved. Maidan records the very first stirrings of this conflict. Filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa, who is originally from Ukraine, shows a people awakening, saying “no” to Putin’s lapdog and “yes” to the European Union. At first the atmosphere is peaceful – there’s a lot of singing, praying and speechmaking. But when the riot police intervene with tear gas and clubs, the square is transformed into a battlefield. The camera is among the masses but always maintains a distance, while the director remains entirely impartial. In classic fiction film style, Loznitsa calmly captures the developments over three months.
Filmmaker, editor and screenwriter Sergey Loznitsa was born in 1964 in the city of Baranovitchi, in Belarus. At that time Belarus was part of the Soviet Union. Later Sergei’s family moved to Kiev, Ukraine, where he finished high school and in 1987 graduated with a degree in engineering and mathematics. From 1987 through 1991 Sergey was employed as a scientist at the Institute of Cybernetics. During that time, he developed a strong interest in cinematography, and in 1991 he was admitted to the Russian State Institute of Cinematography, in Moscow. He studied in the studio of Nana Dzhordzhadze and in 1997 graduated with honours with the major in movie production and direction. Loznitsa is considered an extremely multifaceted and productive director, his work includes short films, mid-length films and full-length films – all of them visually stunning and awarded with prizes right from the beginning of his career. Loznitsa is also hard to categorize in terms of film concept: he has presented numerous documentaries – wholly in the tradition of Russian avant-garde documentaries – as well as exemplary feature films. The content of his work ranges from contemporary history themes (including the Second World War, the Soviet era) all the way to everyday observations and portrayals of life in Russia today. His two feature films, My Joy (2010) and In the Fog (2012) had their world premieres at the Festival de Cannes, where In the Fog received the FIPRESCI prize. Loznitsa’s feature-length documentary Maidan (2014), dedicated to the Ukrainian Revolution, premiered at the Festival de Cannes and it was screened at 2015 ZagrebDox. Feature documentary film The Event (2015) revisits dramatic moments of August 1991 in the USSR, a failed coup d’étatattempt (known as Putsch) premiered at Venice Film Festival in 2015. Documentary Austerlitz (2016), nominated for the Best European documentary at European Film Awards 2017, is an observation of the visitors to a memorial site that has been founded on the territory of a former concentration camp. His 2018 documentary Donbass, set in eastern Ukraine where society begins to degrade as the effects of propaganda and manipulation begin to surface in this post-truth era, got Un Certain Regard – Directing Prize at last year's Cannes Film Festival. In 2018 Loznitsa presented two more documentary films: The Trial – archival chronicle of one of the infamous Moscow Trials – at the time, an operatic affair serving to legitimize Stalin’s government, now a timely reminder of the consequences of total authority, and Victory Day, an observational documentary that conveys the power of ideology and nostalgia as it captures the celebration of Victory Day at Berlin's Soviet War Memorial.
2014, 131', DCP
Sergei Loznitsa, Serhiy Stetsenko
Danielius Kokanauskis, Sergei Loznitsa
Maria Baker, Sergei Loznitsa
Atoms & Void
Festivals & Awards:
Astra Film Festival 2014 – Grand Prize; Festival dei Popoli Firenze 2014 – Best Feature-Length Documentary Award; Cannes Film Festival 2014; Toronto International Film Festival 2014; IDFA 2014; Karlovy Vary International Film Festival 2014; BFI London Film Festival 2014; RIDM – Montreal International Documentary Festival 2014; Dubai International Film Festival 2014
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