Evgeny Afineevsky’s immersive chronicle of a popular rebellion made its debut at Venice. It went on to screen at Telluride and Toronto, where it won an audience award.
Covering the same ground as the more formally rigorous MAIDAN, Afineevsky’s approach to the December 2013-February 2014 Ukrainian revolution is more in the vein of THE SQUARE, focusing on the masses gathered in Kiev’s Independence Square to protest Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s collusion with Russia to keep Ukraine out of the European Union. While providing a panoramic view of the three-month standoff, the film weaves in profiles a diverse group of individual protestors, highlighting their resilience in the face of brutal crackdowns by the government’s special police force, the Berkut, and violent hired thugs, the Titushky. Offering an intense, in the moment experience of the uprising, Afineevsky builds chronologically to its celebratory zenith in the ouster of Yanukovych, while closing cards provide a sobering reminder of the further turmoil that followed from the nation’s war with Russia.