Winner of this year’s Best Director in Cannes’ prestigious Un Certain Regard, the latest from the masterful Sergei Loznitsa is a sprawling, virtuoso work that restages the conflict in Eastern Ukraine to savage effect.
Set against the ongoing conflict between the official army and Russian-backed rebels in Donbass, a far-flung region of Ukraine, this major new work from the prolific Loznitsa (Victory Day, MIFF 2018; Austerlitz and A Gentle Creature, MIFF 2017) serves up a blast of pitch-black humour and urgent moral commentary via a series of brilliantly staged, formally dazzling vignettes.
Drawing on his accomplished work across documentary and fiction, Loznitsa blends aesthetic approaches to create a film that sometimes plays like a mockumentary, alternating between sequences of brutal, bloody fighting and grotesque comedy, where propaganda is espoused as truth and the circus of political corruption and nationalist identity wreaks havoc on lives.
"One of the most impressive films of this year’s festival. Miraculous in its ability to feel simultaneously urgent [and] also meticulously designed and choreographed." – Filmmaker Magazine