Ukraine, Netherlands


Atoms and Void


130 min


Sergei Loznitsa


Sergei Loznitsa


Sergei Loznitsa, Serhiy Stetsenko, Mykhailo Yelchev

Maidan is a mindful ethnographic sketch of the Revolution of Dignity that took place in Kyiv, Ukraine, from 2013 to 2014. Over the course of three months, Sergei Loznitsa and his cameraman, Serhiy Stetsenko, captured a few weeks of the protest’s various stages using a static camera. Despite this limited time frame, there was ample material to create a four-chapter film that captures the dramatic unfolding of the Revolution: Prologue, Triumph, The Fight, and Postscriptum.

The peaceful landscape of the 2013 demonstrations gradually transformed into the intense and tragic battles of January and February 2014, marking a critical phase of the conflict with an unforeseen dark outcome.

While the media extensively covered the epoch-making events at Kyiv’s Independence Square, Loznitsa’s film stands as one of its most significant records. The camera of Maidan offers an impartial view of the chaotic historical moments. The footage resembles a canvas by Bruegel, devoid of any subjective emphasis or framed portraits. The driving force of the protest is the impassioned crowd, the people who propel the revolution toward its tragic yet triumphant conclusion. The sole protagonist of this narrative is the rebellious nation.

Maidan provided Western audiences with a more direct understanding of the revolutionary upheaval in Ukraine. Premiering at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2014, the film rapidly gained canonical status as a document of the Revolution of Dignity within the European public consciousness. In subsequent documentaries like Event (2015) and Austerlitz (2016), the director continued his anthropological exploration of collectivity.

In the words of Mila Novikova, “Sergei Loznitsa is a documentary filmmaker and anthropologist, investigating the bonds uniting Ukrainians of diverse ages, genders, social statuses, and ethnic origins as they strive for dignity and the future of their nation. Maidan combines documentary insight with the poetic essence of a ballad. Within a single frame, the movie encapsulates the struggle for freedom, with the camera’s gaze ascending from the European Square into the sky, where, like Hohol’s moonlight, the eternal light shines upon the revolutionary action.”

Sergei Loznitsa is a documentary filmmaker and anthropologist, a researcher of the unity among Ukrainians of different ages, genders, social status, and ethnic origin in the struggle for their dignity and the future of the country. “Maidan” combines the informativeness of the document with the poetic nature of a ballad. A single shot in the movie summarizes the struggle for freedom, with the camera’s view rising above the crowd in the European Square to the sky, from where, like the light of Gogol’s moon, the eternity shines on the revolutionary action

Mila Novikova