Toronto: Wavelengths Preview — "We Do Not Care if We Go Down in History as Contrarians"by Michael Sicinski, 2018-09-05, www.mubi.com
While Loznitsa is to be commended for his dedication to the process and absolute fidelity to the record, the film is a bit back-loaded, since it is only through the final revelations of the trial that much of what we have been listening to comes to be understood.
Donbass - Contemporary World CinemaBy Richard Porton, 2018-08-31, www.cinema-scope.com
Donbass’ near-Buñuelian episodic structure (in interviews, Loznitza cites The Phantom of Liberty as an influence) acquires a cumulative power.
Festivals: Drifting Apartby Kent Jones, 2018-07-03, www.filmcomment.com
Unlike last year’s A Gentle Creature, whose pursuit of the random and the lethargic resulted in a film that felt almost unattended, Donbass is piercing and impressively relentless, and its best scenes possess a believably banal and terrifying momentum.
Cold Wars: The 2018 Cannes Film Festivalby Daniel Fairfax, 2018-06-27, www.sensesofcinema.com
Loznitsa’s procedure becomes heavy-handed and contemptuous. . . . This tendentiousness becomes flagrant in the film’s implausible final scene, which pushes the contrast between his understated form and the dubious nature of his content to unhinged extremes. You don’t have to be a Putin booster to feel that, with Donbass, a great filmmaker has discredited himself.
Donbass Cannes 2018 Reviewby Giovanni Marchini Camia, 2018-05-19, www.thefilmstage.com
In strict terms of craft, Donbass is an impressive achievement, but its heavy-handedness nevertheless feels inordinate. Since Loznitsa doesn’t provide almost any historical and political context, it’s unlikely that anyone without prior knowledge of the war in Donbass will come out with much actual insight into what’s going on there.
Cannes 2018. Correspondences #3: Weed in Colombia, War in Ukraineby Daniel Kasman, 2018-05-11, www.mubi.com
A film at once electric and morose, Donbassserves as a guide to the malignant darkness shrouding over the eastern part of the Ukraine: fiction filmmaking with combative intent and a powerful sense of necessity.
Cannes 2018 Dispatch #2: Donbass, Petraby Blake Williams , 2018-05-11, www.filmmakermagazine.com
The experience is veritably nightmarish—an unforgiving wallow in images of humanity at its worst—and if I have any hesitation in declaring this, after a single viewing, to be a great, even monumental achievement, it’s generated by my uneasiness regarding Loznitsa’s decision to obfuscate many of his episodes’ political specificity.
Donbass first look: both too much and too little about the war in Ukraineby James Lattimer , 2018-05-10, www.bfi.org.uk
Yet the fascination exerted by these interstitial moments is largely a reflection of the misjudged nature of many of the episodes, which often either fail to make an impression or outstay their welcome, or even do both at the same time. The wearyingly shouty, over-extended wedding scene, for example, says at once too much and too little about the system that now governs the Donbass.
"Donbass": Cannes Reviewby Jonathan Romney, 2018-05-09, www.screendaily.com
Even by the standards of his caustic debut fiction feature My Joy (2010) or last year’s descent-into-hell drama A Gentle Creature, Donbass comes across as savage stuff. A sprawling black comedy with a vast ensemble cast, it evokes a chaotic state of social breakdown in the Donbass region of Ukraine, often with virtuoso brilliance, but it’s sometimes over-stretched vignettes can easily tax the overwhelmed viewer.
"Donbass": Film Review | Cannes 2018by Leslie Felperin, 2018-05-09, www.hollywoodreporter.com
Tackling a bloody struggle that these days barely registers in the media beyond the region itself, despite the fact that the shady Ukrainian connections to President Donald Trump and his cronies keep bobbing up in the news, the film feels timely and borne of deep-held despair at the senseless strife tearing the country apart.
The Fifth Edition of "Art of the Real" Offers Form-Bending History Lessonsby Ela Bittencourt, 2018-04-26, www.villagevoice.com
No selection this year is more steeped in history than Sergei Loznitsa’s Victory Day (2018). His blunt approach made his earlier Austerlitz (2016) stilted and scornful, but Loznitsa is less categorical in the new film.
Review: Sergei Loznitsa's "In the Fog"by Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, 2013-06-20, www.mubi.com
In an era when vague is en vogue—when filmmakers are more likely to find acclaim for posing big questions than for trying to answer them—In the Fogstands out for being resoundingly unambiguous. Everything—camera style, performance, structure, pacing—is in the service of establishing and contextualizing Svirsky’s dilemma.
In the Fogby Drew Hunt, 2013-06-19, www.spectrumculture.com
In the Fog is quite nice to look at—most of it unfolds in the picturesque Latvian forest where the film was shot—even as Loznitsa’s authoritative hand removes much of the beauty present in Mutu’s delicate photography. When the film reaches its risible climax… the boundless austerity takes on the air of tragicomedy gone awry.
It’s hard to see through "In The Fog"by Farran Smith Nehme, 2013-06-14, www.nypost.com
Sergei Loznitsaʼs grim movie fulfills every preconception of a Russian war tale — slow-paced, teeming with dirt and lousy weather, full of moral quandaries endured alongside disgusting food and inadequate clothing. Death haunts “In the Fog” from the first impressive moments, where the camera forces you to share the viewpoint of Belarusian men being marched to a Nazi gallows.
In the Fogby Michael Koresky, 2013-06-14, www.reverseshot.org
This is neither a tale of redemption (its largely unsullied main character, despite the trials he is put through, is not in need of such things) nor is it a portrait of improbable, Christlike goodness. The film is grounded in the material world, in recognizable human behavior and interaction; its ironies are those of the everyday, delineated in clean, compassionate storytelling strokes that don’t sacrifice complexity for clarity.
In the Fog: movie reviewby Keith Uhlich, 2013-06-13, www.timeout.com
For a while, [In the Fog] is mysterious and gripping. The whispery sounds of the forest impart a lulling yet tense sensation, as if death could come from anywhere at any moment… But obviousness sets in when the film begins flashing back to the men’s lives before their current dilemma. The initial strangeness wears off as the narrative rhythms become more predictable—enter past, return to present, repeat—and the clichéd existential metaphors pile up.
Review: In the Fogby Tina Hassannia, 2013-06-13, www.slantmagazine.com
Perhaps the obvious point of comparison for In the Fog, given the endless melancholic long shots in the woods, is the work of Andrei Tarkovsky… But unlike Tarkovsky, who left words unspoken for his characters, Loznitsa occasionally writes his ideas too explicitly in the film’s dialogue, though he makes up for this by deftly employing some ironic symbolism elsewhere.
The Condemned Man and His Two Burdensby Manohla Dargis, 2013-06-13, www.nytimes.com
The world and its choices are often cruel, but for all the devastations visited on the characters, Mr. Loznitsa is searching for the human good amid a human catastrophe. The stunning opening scene — a probing sweep around a Bruegel-like tableau of people, dogs and mud — puts that search into cinematic terms and also telegraphs the narrative’s circular form. We go on, circle back, go on.