In November 2013, Ukrainians gathered peacefully in Kiev’s Independence Square to protest president Viktor Yanukovych’s about-face with regard to joining the E.U. Soon the Berkut (special police force) were called in, using increasing amounts of violence to disperse the crowds. The fighting escalated, resulting in over a hundred dead. By February 2014, the people were calling for the resignation of Yanukovych, who then secretly fled the country.
Guerilla style, hand-held camerawork from numerous on-the-ground activists delivers a kinetic, visceral experience as we witness the mayhem in Kiev close up. Interviews with demonstrators who risked their lives add to the doc’s immediacy. We vicariously experience the danger from behind the barricades and on the streets, watching as protest turns to revolution. Brutality and blood are on full display, and a sobering postscript reminds us that while a battle was won, the war still rages.