“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, things get nasty and 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. He avoids sensational images and chooses not to show the worst horrors, instead concentrating on the sense of solidarity, the passion, the perseverance and the hope of the demonstrators. By the end of the film, over a hundred of them are no more.
European Cultural Foundation
The European Cultural Foundation promotes a European sentiment through developing and supporting cultural initiatives that let us share, experience and imagine Europe.