The Event

2015 [RUSSIAN]

Documentary / History

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

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720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
648.95 MB
Russian 2.0
25 fps
1 hr 10 min
P/S 7 / 25
1.17 GB
Russian 2.0
25 fps
1 hr 10 min
P/S 5 / 37

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by adletdairbaev8 / 10

"The Event" quite literally documents the consequences of coup d'état in august of 1991 that led to collapse of USSR.

*swan lake starts playing* Sergei Loznitsa got tired of usual documentaries one day and decided to make one in style of found- footage like The Blair Witch Project and the Paranormal Activity but with much more scary premise – what happens in country where everybody is equal, but some are more equal than others. Michael Moore Award winning documentary, "The Event", from the first scene drops the viewer into the thick of things right after the August Putsch (Coup d'état) in Moscow 1991. Presenting only several screens with exposition text, Loznitsa has manipulated the archival footage of Moscow's august sacrificing narration and hand-holding of the viewer that are so prevalent in the documentary genre to achieve a sense of presence and involvement in the said viewer. Sergei Loznitsa graduated Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography at the age of 33 in 1997, after being not satisfied with merely working on designing artificial intelligence, and even before graduating in 1996 already won first of his 17 awards as of 2016, so if anyone is to turn documentaries into time traveling device, it may as well be him.

Take a glimpse behind the iron curtain and see how the people of USSR looked (hint – they also had mullets!),and how they looked at the camera when listening to the news of the coup d'état that had overthrown the Soviet power that ruled for 70 years. Footage from the archives directed by Loznitsa, as much as one can direct it, shows the crowds of people on the streets of1991 Moscow, distraught with news of change, astonishment in faces of some, relief in the faces of others and everybody wondering what will happen next. In- crowd hand-held camera creates a sense of presence, even participation, in the viewer, making them a witness of the events. Overhanging wide-shot scenes show the scale of gatherings, meetings and protests in the streets and squares of Moscow. Absence of narration is still not enough to claim objectivity, as Loznitsa still can influence the viewer with editing (Kuleshov effect) as well as with what he decides to show us, the viewers, and from what perspective. Instead he opts for people's voices, pamphlets and protest signs to preserve genuine reaction of people. Still, there is enough objectivity so that people may have differing thoughts provoked by this film. One thing is certain – most will wonder what happened to those people whose faces Loznitsa is so eager for us to see, are they alive today, and if so, what they think of that fateful august now that they had the time to reflect and see the consequences? Arguably, those very faces are the things that create the sense of involvement in us, staring in wonder of the events unfolding before them, the greater picture out of their grasp, and us – viewers wanting but unable to tell them what their in-moment decisions had resulted in, and always wondering if this time machine that Loznitsa has created allows us to tell them what we feel the same way they tell us with their eyes.

Reviewed by sultankamzayev7 / 10

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.

Reviewed by kaisardauletbek9 / 10

Sweet Little Lies

On August 19th, 1991 a group of operators for "Lendokfilm" went out to the streets to shoot one of the most significant events in the newest Russian history. They were the eyes of common folks, the eyes that almost 30 years later let us see the story of August Putsch - the Soviet coup d'état attempt. The film is a chronicle of events in Leningrad starting with the crowd trying to figure out what is going on, protests, barricade construction, and ending with the declaration of the members of GKCHP as the traitors of the nation. This historic moment is often referred to as the death of Russian communism.

Sergei Loznitsa, a famous Ukrainian film director, made a successful attempt at demonstrating the actual chain of events four months after which the Soviet Union was no more. He does so by focusing the viewer's attention at the protesters, while carefully inserting pieces of information that allow us to construct our own version of Putsch.

The people that are depicted in the documentary are the main storytellers. Their appearance tells us a lot, young and old people wearing jeans, lush hair, brightly-colored jackets - expressing their readiness to live in a democratic country. Fair enough, this was the first real opportunity to speak up for political rights within 70 years. There is, however, some history attached to it. Prior to the Putsch, the USSR underwent a series of political reforms, known as Perestroika and Glasnost, that aimed liberalization, freedom of speech, and overall democratization under the country's first and last president Gorbachev's rule. His initiative faced a lot of critique and was often considered as a sign of weakness from the communist party. Consequently, 8 high-level communist officials have created the committee on the state of emergency (GKCHP) to overthrow Gorbachev.

Even though the crowd was exercising their democratic rights by gathering, protesting, and building barricades, it is important to mention that people were clearly supporting the current government, not the GKCHP. Seems pretty clear - nobody wants communism anymore. But did the people know what they are getting instead? Sitting here in 2020, knowing the actual outcome of the events, another question appears - even if there is democracy on the streets, is there democracy inside those buildings?

Speaking of the inside of those buildings, it's no secret that KGB was always famous for their ability to do things behind the curtain. "Volodya! Volodya!" - says an unknown voice to a rushing figure in front of Anatoliy Sobchak, the figure that strongly resembles the current president of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, a member of KGB back then. Volodya doesn't respond. Next scene we see them rushing out of there. In a blink of an eye. We can only guess about what happened in the building that Sobchak and the company entered, but the event that happened there has probably defined the nearest 30 years of the political life of the Russian Federation, as well as the name of the documentary. Loznitsa wants us to decide what kind of event do we want it to be on our own, but the fact is - it happened.

When assessing the cinematographic decisions, it is important to notice that there are two key camera plans - a detailed, close view, and a wide view. It allows the viewer to see both the scale of crowd gatherings and assess closely the appearance of separate individuals that constitute this crowd. The editing of the documentary also plays a significant part in connecting the scenes so they would make sense. As we see, the scenes follow the chronology and are separated with a long black screen with Swan Lake playing in the background. Even though it may seem like Loznitsa's participation in this movie is minimal, the scenes are cut masterfully by a Cannes festival invitee.

In Mikhail Yampolskiy's article The Country Where Ressentiment Won, Yampolskiy states that the defactualization in Russia has reached the stage of destruction of the government and society. In other words, the resentment of Russian people, that is based on feeling helpless and incapable of even the smallest change in their own country, is now a driving force of the deconstruction of the state. This process, however, began right there, in the Event. "Let's call them lies. Lies. About. That. Time." - said Loznitsa in his interview one year before the release of the film. Lies about that time - a good summary of Loznitsa's documentary career, he is indeed famous for being able to bring up the lies to the screen. Lies that look so small and innocent there, somewhere on his tapes, while getting bigger and bigger as we look at them closer and trying to fill the puzzle of today's reality with them. This is probably how it works with lies. Those sweet little lies that always favor the present, but never the future.

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