Donbass

Donbass

Sergei Loznitsa (2018)

121min
15 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Watching this 2018 feature from Ukrainian film-maker Sergei Loznitsa, it becomes dismayingly clear why the people of Ukraine voted in 2019 to entrust the country's presidency to a comedian known for playing a decent politician in a TV series. From its opening sequence showing how fake news is concocted to control the thought processes of a divided nation, this withering and soberingly acute satire has a ring of authenticity that you would expect of a director who also excels at archival and observational documentaries. The scenario is the proxy Donetsk People's Republic, but Loznitsa leaves viewers in little doubt where his own sympathies lie. Among the 13-segment compendium of stories, he offers for scrutiny the actions of a black marketeer in cahoots with a respected doctor, the bus passengers subjected to intimidation and abuse at military checkpoints, the officials at the mercy of angry constituents and intransigent worshippers, and the guests at a raucous wedding, whose treatment of a chained soldier sums up the acrimonious and anarchic chaos into which the country has descended. Expertly eliding the episodes, while reinforcing their recurring relevance, Loznitsa makes his despair and fury readily apparent.

Cast & Crew

Donbass inhabitant Valeriu Andriuta
Guy with skull Evgeny Chistyakov
Man in raincoat / Mikhalych Boris Kamorzin
Fat-faced boss Vadim Dubovsky
Bekha Sergey Kolesov
Captive Valeriy Antonyuk
Director Sergei Loznitsa
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Other Information

Language: Russian, English +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: Eureka EntertainmentGuidance: Violence, swearingAvailable on: Blu-rayReleased on: 26 Apr 2019