(Sergei Loznitsa, Ukraine, 2014, 131 min)
Tuesday, Nov 04 at 07:00PM
Both timely and timeless, Maidan captures the massive public demonstrations in late 2013 and early 2014 that catalyzed the Ukranian Revolution and deepened rifts between Russia and the West. Director Sergei Loznitsa (My Joy, In the Fog) lets the people speak for themselves, opting for long static shots and refraining from imposing voice over narration or traditional interviews.
Maidan's observational structure embodies the thousands of voices it represents, with an unflinching camera that immerses the viewer in protests, speeches, smoke-clogged city streets and funeral processions.
The opening long shot of hundreds of posters singing the Ukranian national anthem sets the bar for Maidan's dedicated depiction of the power of collective action. The densely layered sound design captures the din and adrenaline of revolution: tear glass explosions and resulting coughs of the camera operator, clattering rocks and banging drums, deepen the intimacy of the experience beyond the limits of the frame. Deep chants from the crowd range from encouraging ("Friends, keep calm!") to sobering. "Heroes never die!," the people intone over a black screen, in honor of the 100 activists who died during the protests.
An excellent reminder (from a different perspective on election night) of the significance of political action.
"An impressive, bold treatment of a complex subject. One of the few documentaries about a recent revolution that won't feel dated in five years." - Variety
Northwest Film Forum (View)
1515 12th Ave
Seattle, WA 98122