Monday, July 20, 2015

"Maidan" looks at the protests in Kiev, Ukraine over the 2013-2014 winter, before Putin's aggression

Maidan” (2014), directed by Sergei Loznitsa (aka Sergey Loznitsa) is a 2-hour-plus “documentary” showing, without voice commentary (just some subsection titles), from on the ground, the course of the “Euromaidan” protests in central Kiev, Ukraine from November 2013 to February 2014, when president Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych was driven from power.

Protestors had wanted closer ties with Europe, and Yanulovych fled to exile in Russia. There are historical details on Wikipedia here

The political change may well have helped provoke Vladimir Putin into Russia’s subsequent aggression, largely unchallenged, in Crimea and eastern Ukraine. 

The film gives the viewer the impression of “being there”, standing in the crowd, shouting, which is not something I normally do.  (Am I above “joining in” other people’s solidarity protests?)  It gives an intimate look of drab downtown Kiev, which is valuable because the average viewer has little chance to go there. 

The scale of the protests is much larger than that of the Occupy movement in the US.

Of course, the viewer wonders if a conventional documentary, explaining the politics, would have been more effective.  Subtitles are provided for the demonstration and street speech, mostly in Ukraine (resembling Russian). 

The film may be viewed in Netflix Instant Play, or rented on YouTube for $3.99.  I played in NY and LA at the end of 2014.  I don't recall seeing it play in DC, 
The official site is here (Cinema Guild and "Atoms & Void"). 

Wikipedia attribution link for photo by Mstylav Chernov from Jan 22, 2014 under Creative Commons 3.0 Share-Alike license. 

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