After his documentary Maidan, about the Ukrainian Revolution of 2014, Sergei Loznitsa now presents the found-footage documentary The Event, looking back at the rebellion which preceded the collapse of the USSR. This was the August Putsch in 1991. The State Committee on the State of Emergency, made up of communist hardliners, attempted a coup on 19 August 1991 and wanted to depose Soviet President Gorbachev and stop democratic reforms. Opposed by the popular uprisal, the coup failed, but it did contribute to the demise of the Soviet Union at the end of December 1991. The footage shot in Leningrad also contains images of a young Putin, who was assistant to the Mayor of the city at the time.
Loznitsa allows the images to speak, showing the confusion (“Is Gorbachev still alive?”) and the slogans (“A free country is a happy country”) up to the conclusion of the coup. On the soundtrack, we regularly hear Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake: the rebels broadcasted not the news on TV but the Bolshoi Ballet.

Original title
Sobytie
Filmmaker
Sergei Loznitsa
Country
Netherlands, Belgium
Year
2015
Medium
DCP
Length
74’
Language
Russian
Producer
Maria Choustova-Baker, Sergei Loznitsa
Production Company
ATOMS & VOID BV
Sales
ATOMS & VOID BV
Writer
Sergei Loznitsa
Editor
Sergei Loznitsa, Danielius Kokanauskis
Sound Design
Vladimir Golovnitski
Website
https://facebook.com/ATOMS-VOID-550596995000706