Leipzig Film Festival: Protests against the performance of “Ukraine is Burning” – Culture

American director Oliver Stone (“Platoon”, “The Doors”) has produced a number of successful cinematic epics in the past – “Ukraine is burning” is not one of them. It is a visually stunning pseudo-documentary about the Maidan protests in Kyiv, in which Stone, as executive producer, among other things, gives a candid interview with Vladimir Putin. According to Stone, Ukraine is just a playing field lined with world powers. Ukrainians are either American puppets or ultra-nationalists. The fact that the relatively unknown film still finds an audience almost half a year after the start of the Russian war of aggression, of all places in Leipzig, the twin city of Kyiv, is a fact Online rage It led to a physical altercation on Thursday evening.

“Ukraine is Burning” was shown as part of “Globale”. The film festival has been showing documentaries critical of globalization in various locations in Leipzig since 2004. It is funded by the relief organization “Brot für die Welt” and the city itself, among others. 12,000 euros reported for 2022.

Ukraine Burns is a visually stunning pseudo-documentary about the Maidan protests in Kyiv, in which Ukrainians are portrayed as either American puppets or ultra-nationalists.

(Photo: Imago Images/Everett Group)

According to the program, the screening of the film “Ukraine is burning” was to be surrounded by a conversation with the representative of the Donbass Future Action Alliance, which provides humanitarian aid in the separatist regions of eastern Ukraine. Russian war propaganda can be found on the club’s social media channels. A video clip shows a truck loaded with hospital beds driving through a bombed area. Z-shaped flag behind the windshield, the symbol of Russian conquest.

Mike Nagler, organizer and spokesperson for “GlobaLE,” sees no problem with showing a film that largely embraces the Kremlin’s worldview at a time when thousands of Ukrainian refugees are seeking protection in Germany and Leipzig. Instead, they want to “make room for critical discourse” and to hear voices “not currently in the media”. Nagler ran unsuccessfully as a direct candidate for the left in the federal elections in 2009 and 2013. Today he maintains that he has never been a member of the party. He sees himself as part of the peace movement and opposes the surrender of arms, as that would only unnecessarily prolong the war. Nagler says “Ukraine is Burning” is just one of 40 films. It is not said that he agrees with the content one hundred percent. Then Kyiv was called “center-right in Europe”. He calls the 2014 al-Midan revolution a “coup”.

At the Thursday screening of the film, the benefit was low at first, then there was “mutual bodily harm”

When the movie is due to open on Thursday, interest can be controlled. About 30 people made themselves comfortable on blankets on the banks of the Elster River. The opening credits end when a group carrying drums rolls into the meadow in front of the screen, chanting: “There’s no right for Putin’s propaganda.” A brawl ensued, a young woman apparently trying to snatch the microphone from Nagler and then being pushed, another is said to have been hit in the face. “Just go home,” shouted the supervisor. “Go to Russia,” cried the young woman. The police must act, a letter talking about “mutual bodily harm”.

Anna Perepichai is one of the protestors and is part of the “Óstov Collective”, an association of German and Ukrainian artists who have just finished an exhibition. Perepechai came to Germany in 2014, shortly after the illegal annexation of Crimea, and studied photography in Leipzig. Organizes aid for refugees and documents demonstrations. Her parents still live in a small town near Chernihiv, she said. Her father recently passed away because his family could not reach the hospital under Russian fire. “I was in the field,” says Anna Perepichai, I saw it all with my own eyes. I’m not a doll, I’m not a patriot.

Now he explains “Bread for the World”The controversial film was not included in the program when the funds were approved. Therefore, future financing is viewed critically. The city of Leipzig is also distancing itself Twitter statement. “However, we respect and promote the freedom of art. And unlike an authoritarian regime, a democracy can tolerate the screening of a questionable film.” When asked if said funding would continue, a city spokesperson said: “A festival where fights happen naturally has very different framework terms in terms of city funding.”

The evening of the film itself, one can consider a happy coincidence, does not end with the planned discussion, but with a rain shower and a cold one.

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