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22 days to watch
Berlinale Takeover
3.3
163 Ratings

Victory Day

День Победы

Directed by Sergei Loznitsa
Germany, 2018
Documentary
  • Russian
  • Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish
Berlinale Takeover

Synopsis

Every year, on the 9th of May, people gather in Treptower Park in Berlin. They come dressed in their best outfits or in Soviet military uniform. They carry flags, banners and posters, they sing, dance and drink. They celebrate the victory of the Soviet Union over Nazi Germany.

Our take

With three stellar films made in 2018, Sergei Loznitsa’s most surprising is this enthralling view of a celebration of the Soviet victory in World War 2. Your eyes dart across the wide, colorful images as they capture the tremendous variety and depth of meanings it still has for today’s Russians.

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For all of its formal precision and clarity, watching the film leaves viewers in a state of constant disorientation, with wide shots framing crowds dressed in styles that seem to extend from the Russian revolution through to the future (this being Berlin, after all).
February 14, 2019
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The site’s epic, pathos-heavy symbolism seduces even as it repels. In one mausoleum relief, thanks to Loznitsa’s forced perspective, a German plane appears small enough to be struck by a Soviet peasant’s outstretched, elegantly poised hand. The iconography evokes episodes of unremitting civilian suffering during an airstrike, yet Loznitsa captures it first in close-up, revealing an uncanny inner strength.
April 26, 2018
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It’s the combination of tight framing and the evident distance between the camera and its subjects that creates Victory Day’s spatial dynamic – its chief artistic attributes, that is, of intimacy and detachment.
February 27, 2018
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