This weekend marks the 25th anniversary of the August Coup, a failed coup d’état attempt in the Soviet Union just months before the communist country’s collapse. In honor of the occasion, we are proud to present a powerful record of a part of that three-day event, Sergei Loznitsa’s latest documentary, The Event. From now through Sunday, August 21 (the date of the coup’s collapse), you can stream the film free below courtesy of Doc Alliance.
Both Daniel Walber and I are fans of the film, which shows what was going on in the streets of Leningrad during the period of military posturing over in Moscow. It’s an amazing follow-up to his 2014 Ukrainian revolution doc, Maidan. The Event is much different, a work of archival verite using stunning footage shot on film that looks brand new. In his review for Nonfics, Daniel focuses more on the audio rather than visual brilliance of the film, quoted here:
This soundscape is likely Loznitsa’s principal accomplishment here, an odd synthesis of the mass energy of Maidan and the unsettling soundscapes of some of his nonfiction shorts. It is often impossible to tell where certain words are coming from. Early on in the film, before the community fully gathers in the town square, one can hear the faint shimmering of Russian Orthodox liturgical music. Is it coming from somewhere hidden in Leningrad, or is it arriving from the post-atheist future, supplied by Loznitsa himself? Many of the cheers in the later stages feel muffled, or at least insecure. The sound system used by Mayor Anatoly Sobchak (a mentor of Vladimir Putin) as he addresses the people has some issues, at least at first, as he rushes to address the people of his city and condemn the coup.
Watch The Event below for free through Sunday or rent the film after that for a low price.