THE EVENT / 2015
In August 1991 a failed coup d'état attempt(known as Putsch) led by a group of hard-core communists in Moscow, ended the 70-year-long rule of the Soviets. The USSR collapsed soon after, and the tricolour of the sovereign Russian Federation flew over Kremlin. As president Gorbachev was detained by the coup leaders, state-run tv and radio channels, usurped by the putschists, broadcast Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake instead of news bulletins, and crowds of protestors gathered around Moscow's White House, preparing to defend the stronghold of democratic opposition led by Boris Yeltsin, in the city of Leningrad thousands of confused, scared, excited and desperate peaple poured into the streets to become a part of the event, which was supposed to change their destiny. A quarter of a century later, Sergei Loznitsa revisits the dramatic moments of August 1991 and casts an eye on the event which was hailed worldwide as the birth of "Russian democracy". What really happened in Russia in August 1991? What was the driving force behind the crowds on the Place Square in Leningrad? What exactly are we witnessing: the collapse or the regime or it's creative re-branding? Who are these peaple looking at the camera: victors or victims?
The Event by Sergei Loznitsa at the ICAby Jagger Biggs, 2019-10-04, www.russianartandculture.com
Soon after, the USSR collapsed, ending the 70-year-long rule of the Soviets. This carefully compiled documentary film transports viewers back to the confusion and optimism of August 1991. It questions what revolution means in the post-Soviet context more widely, and leaves us wondering whether its participants are victors or victims.