"Loznitsa's editing and choice of material … depicts both the chaos and the raw power of mass demonstration." – Cinema Scope
August 1991: the Soviet Union is on the verge of collapse. After a decade of glasnost, and with further decentralisation of power on the cards, a group of high-ranking party figures places leader Mikhail Gorbachev under house arrest and declares a state of emergency. As the nation grinds to a halt, people pour onto the streets to protest. In three days, the seeds of a new country will emerge.
A companion piece to Maidan (MIFF 2014) – a chronicle of the popular uprising that brought down Ukraine's pro-Russian government – Sergei Loznitsa's The Event compiles high-quality documentary footage, shot on the streets of Leningrad over the course of the 1991 coup, to gripping effect. Both a celebration of public protest and lament for unfulfilled hopes, The Event is a vivid, immediate slice of history.
"For anyone with a sense of history, the sight of crowds gathering outside the Winter Palace … can't fail to send chills, tapping into past, present and future." – Variety