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In August 1991 a failed coup d’état led by a group of hard-core communists in Moscow ended the 70-year-long rule of the Soviets. In 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.
The startling clarity of the restored footage alone lends a present-tense immediacy to Loznitsa’s archival summoning of 1991 Leningrad. At once a resurrection of a moment and its retrospective refraction, The Event speaks to the effects of documentary technique on the malleable nature of history.