Can’t help thinking that there's a more ambitious, fugue-like film to be made, which cuts across crowd scenes from different political moments, putting these different discourses of revolution in counterpoint. But this is a vital assemblage of history, fully returning us to its time and place. In light of the neoliberalism that’s swept the globe in the wake of the communist alternative...
A first-person, in the streets, wandering through the chaos of the collapsing Soviet Union, with the uncertainty and optimism of the masses finally free to reject the Communist dictatorship that sought to re-impose itself on them. Filmed from the perspective of St Petersburg- Brilliant
In the final act of the Soviets dance with communism Sergei Loznitsa dresses his documentary to the sounds of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake (the only programm on TV during the event). The film shifts between footage of the two sides during the event in August 1991; the pro-government and the revolutionary commitee. The blending is so seamless; like an Odile and an Odette in the famous ballet - two sides of the same people.
To be able to bring such an eXperiential reflection on the events that unfolded in St. Petersburg in those days, with archival footage, is quite commendable. the work and effort is visible but effortless. We also see a younger Putin, probably on his way to Moscow for the things to come, but Sergei thankfully hasn't felt the need to eXplain or justify it or anything else in the narrative, letting us imagine our own:)
A fascinating documentary looking at a failed coup d'etat and the fall of the USSR/Communism in 1991, this is an incredible snapshot of a vital moment, and an intriguing gateway to something that I now want to find out more about (which is really the best part of any good doc).
I'm looking for some advice. I plan to write a dissertation on Russian cinema, and was going to write about Sergei Loznitsa's Train Stop until I realised Sergei was Ukrainian. However, according to Mubi, the film is Russian, as The Event is from the Netherlands. Can anyone shed light on this? Are these indications of where the films were produced? It would help my dissertation a lot to clarify this.
Loznitsa's film suffers a little from being located in Leningrad, away from the centre of things in August 1991 but, that gripe aside, this is a salutary piece. Nothing looks more dated than the recent past and the images have an other-worldly quality to them. Finishing on Anatoly Sobchak's speech is a reminder of the ultimate betrayal of the August protesters that would come in the following decade.
Not my bag. Completely dry and uninteresting TO ME. If you have a degree (or great interest) in RUSSIAN HISTORY then this might be enjoyable to you. Maybe, I have no idea. I just know that I have ZERO context for this subject and there was nothing given to us by the filmmakers to inform us of what was going on. So with no prior knowledge of this "EVENT" in history, then it is just a boring bunch of footage.
This could do with being properly edited with some explanation of what is going on to provide context. What remains is an overly long, confusing series of shots of a people's 'revolution' in Leningrad (whereas all the important stuff happened in Moscow). Aside from a shot of a young Putin getting into the back of a car, this was really quite tedious - lots of speeches and shots of crowds, but no real action.
In kaum einer Stadt bin ich in den letzten Jahren regelmäßiger gewesen als in St. Petersburg; deshalb war es sehr berührend, durch diesen Film geführt zu werden mit all seinen Menschen in einer entscheidenden Zeit. Brilliant wie die Gespräche auf der Straße und den Plätzen aufgefangen wurden und wie scheinbar nur beobachtet wird.
Can be quite powerful for those who lived it. Watch Heart Of A Dog after this! Just learned from my father about the music in this doc >>> Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake was the only thing on television during the event. Not only in the August of 1991. It started with the death of Brezhnev, when it was broadcasted in its full-length, blocking access to the news. The same happened when Andropov and Chernenko died.