All Things Ablaze
*MDR FILM AWARD* - DOK Leipzig International Film Festival
Revelation Perth International Film Festival
"The film tackles the catastrophic moment when mass protest turns violent, and highlights the disturbing nature of the actions of those engaged in violence on both sides." -- Open Democracy
"By moving between the front lines of protesters and government forces, the film offers a perspective that has been absent from most accounts of Maidan so far. Rejecting easy narratives, "All Things Ablaze" explores what happens as old power structures collapse and violence takes hold of the heart of the city." -- N+1 Magazine
Filmed in Maidan square during the violent Ukrainian winter of 2013-14, All Things Ablaze provides a rare and uncompromising glimpse into the violence and disarray on the frontline of Ukraine's public uprising.
As suggested by its subtitle, "Witnessing from the middle of the fire", All Things Ablaze viscerally captures how the Maidan demonstrations peaceful beginnings quickly developed an atmosphere of violence, ready to erupt at any moment. The peaceful broad cross-section of Ukrainian society represented in the square set the stage for a confrontation between provocative riot police and adrenaline-fuelled young men driven by ambiguous, perhaps complex, motives, with pure rage as one clear component.
In one emblematic sequence, the eager crowd begins to destroy a statue of Lenin to rubble, when a bewildered-looking older man desperately grabs hold of it to protect it, illuminating a central question of the whole protest movement: whose revolution is this?
The film documents the premeditated provocation and violence of the authorities as well as their restraint, and it does not idealize the ragged fringe of the protests whose extreme actions had a disproportionate impact. By viscerally illustrating the context of un-romanticized violence and escalation in which the historic democratic moment actually happened, All Things Ablaze helps underscore the bravery and dignity of the majority of those protesting in Maidan.
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