CANNES 2014: MAÏDAN BY SERGEI LOZNITSA

This entry was posted on May 21st, 2014

By Mónica Delgado 

To film the immediacy of revolution, from its newsreel aspect but not really like it. Before everything, Ucranian filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa seems to be in this sort of Comanche territory, where the mysticism of registry is evidenced in the two and a half hours of footage of Maïdan. Lonznitsa is interested in a key concept, the performance of the people, in its coordination, articulation, following, from fixated shots that force contemplation, without tracking autonomous subjects as characters, since the Maïdan square and all the citizen that made it vital and heart of the protest are the center of the film.

From the first seconds of Maïdan, the camera is there registering the Ukrainian while they chant the hymn of their country with respect and passion, predicting that intention of the static panoramic shot that will rule the style of the documentary, ready to shoot the dwellings of the mass through a raw winter, as if it were a Brueghel miniature painting, in the previous days to the events that led Ukraine to the headlines of all diaries around the world.

There is a progression in Loznitsa’s proposal, from the calm of the previous moments of violence, registered since December 2013, to march of this year, watching how the citizens organize themselves in their search of freedom and against the government of president Yanukovych, which is called thief, mobster and corrupt. First there is the gaze towards the bases, university places, dining halls, where the posters and food for the thousands or people in the square are prepared. There’s also a sense of dry “spectacularization” in the rallies while the agitators make harangues of different caliber, to the rhythm of hip songs and children choirs. There are not “characters” , in the film, since the absolute protagonist of Maïdan is the square itself, in its daily life towards the arrival to the repressive attacks, which take life and leave a country in mourning.

The Ukranian filmmaker achieves an epic work from contemplation, from distance, but not as an absent eye, but as a hunting of it all, a predominant soul, in a historical transcendence trayectory that is immortalized towards a new Ukraine. One of the great films of this Cannes 2014, which should’ve been part of the Official Competition.

Special projection

Director: Sergei Loznitsa
Ukraine
2014