Don’t miss out watching “Maidan” at the Cinemas in London!
Review by The Guardian ***** Close-up of history in the making
Acclaimed director Sergei Loznitsa returns to documentary with this vital and urgent film about Ukraine’s anti-government protests in Kiev’s Maidan Square. Filmed over a period of ninety days, Loznitsa shoots from fixed camera positions capturing a carnival of singing, speeches, music and food. The people of Maidan appear to be full of promise and hope. But these scenes are stained with tension as we await the inevitable climax, as peaceful protest descends into violent street battle, Loznitsa frames it in the same beautiful, objective manner.
Epic in scale, breathtakingly cinematic and critically urgent, Maidan is a film to be experienced. This is a portrait of an awakening nation rediscovering its identity; not just a document of a historic turning point for Ukraine, but a moving testament to human solidarity.
Maidan displays a real «parti–pris» with its ultra–minimalist style: dialogues are reduced to the bare minimum, no comments are made. Loznitsa made the choice to go against the conventions of a traditional documentary film by not including a voiceover narration or interviews.
Only a few times during the movie, a few lines of explanation appear on the screen to give a minimum of context, and to describe, in no more than a few words, the different stages of the conflict.
The viewer is absolutely left to his own reflections. No historian, sociologist, or any other sort of specialist, is there to give guidelines as to what one should make of these images.
The Ukrainian people successufully ousted a president who, in their eyes, had lost legitimacy and credibility; without that certain feeling of ‘brotherhood’, it certainly would have not been possible. The French phrase, «l’union fait la force» («unity makes power»), could not possibly find a better illustration of its meaning.
Maidan, dir. Sergei Loznitsa, Netherlands / Ukraine 2014, 133 mins. With English subtitles.
WHERE: ICA, The Mall, London, SW1Y 5AH
More info: http://www.maidanfilm.co.uk/