In August 1991 a failed coup d'état attempt (known as Putsch) led by a group of hard-core communists in Moscow, ended the 70-year-long rule of the Soviets. The USSR collapsed soon after, ...
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In August 1991 a failed coup d'état attempt (known as Putsch) led by a group of hard-core communists in Moscow, ended the 70-year-long rule of the Soviets. The USSR collapsed soon after, and the tricolour of the sovereign Russian Federation flew over Kremlin. As president Gorbachev was detained by the coup leaders, state-run TV and radio channels, usurped by the putschists, broadcast Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake" instead of news bulletins, and crowds of protestors gathered around Moscow's White House, preparing to defend the stronghold of democratic opposition led by Boris Yeltsin, in the city of Leningrad thousands of confused, scared, excited and desperate people poured into the streets to become a part of the event, which was supposed to change their destiny. A quarter of a century later, Sergei Loznitsa revisits the dramatic moments of August 1991 and casts an eye on the event which was hailed worldwide as the birth of "Russian democracy". What really happened in Russia in August 1991...Written by
ATOMS & VOID
Review of "The Event" documentary film by Sergei Loznitsa
The theme of movements against politics is eternal as in literature and in films. One of them is a film called "The Event" of Sergei Lozhista who specializes in the documentary and the author of such movies as "My Joy", "Maidan", "In the Fog". A documentary film written and directed by an Ukrainian director Sergei Loznitsa tells about the coup d'état attempt (also known as August Putsch) happened in 1991. The coup d'état attempt (August Putsch) was a trial to take control over the Soviet Union by communist leaders and go against a leader of USSR, Mikhail Gorbachev. The director brings up the topic of revolution, freedom of thoughts and anti-political views in "The Event" documentary. Furthermore, it is important to note that Sergei Loznitsa screened out "The Event" on the 72nd Venice Film Festival since this film festival is one of the prestigious ones. In this review, there will be discussed screenwriting, technical aspects and influence on culture.
Sergei Loznitsa had a special approach to this film in terms of script. As it is a documentary movie based on the documental materials, it does not have the plot but it can have the certain script. Visual narration of the coup, as it was mentioned before, is based only on collected video materials. A picture has no voice over during the entire duration. Instead of this, we may witness a huge number of appeals, any kinds of public service announcements, conversations on the street, interviews, discussions, public singing and various thoughts of Soviet citizens. These elements immerse us into the happening. Watching this riots, strikes, meetings make us feel like we are a part of this ant political movement as well.
Concerning technical features, a documentary film is a correctly connected sequence of original video shootings of all actions within these days. Unchanged and standard aspect ratio for those films, constantly moving camera, some stable and dynamic takes, close-ups, remastered sound and film, black and white colored film are features that make this documentary special. I think it is important to mention that audiovisual aspect plays main role as well. First of all, Loznitsa edited a film and made transitions between acts and sequences using Pyotr Tchaikovsky's musical composition from his "Black Swan" ballet. "Black Swan" is quite related to this coup because during these riots the ballet was broadcasted on TV. In addition to this, "Black Swan" composition itself changes from a bit gentle and intriguing beginning to ending that make us get goosebumps. Making parallels with history of Soviet Union due to the fact that the state had a good beginning which was so intriguing for most people and a bitter ending. Second of all, probably Loznitsa deliberately put an episode with playing "Peremen" by Viktor Tsoy in the cut. This song is iconic and always actual for such anti-political movements and attitudes. Using these elements are impressive and undoubtedly I can call them true features of "The Event".
This movie is likely to influence on people because 'The Event" shows true and important events in the worldwide history. Personally I am not a fan of "documentary movie" genre but this Loznitsa's picture left me in good impressions. I mean the picture was well-edited and well-written. Moreover, I would like to mention that unpainted film creates the particular and special atmosphere in this movie. It is evident that the author has a good vision as a good artist and an experienced journalist because it could be somewhat hard to show such historical event simultaneously in the impressive and correct way.
To sum up abovementioned information, 'The Event" is not an average documentary picture because it is seen that initially a creator had a good approach to this movie. It can be praised for many elements as they were well-thought. Despite the fact that I do not like films of this genre, in general I can recommend this movie for any kinds of audience.
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