Sergei Loznitsa

Thousandsuns
Cinema

Sergei Loznitsa was born in Baranovichi, Belarus in 1964. His family later moved to Kyiv, Ukraine. He graduated with a major in mathematics and engineering from Kyiv Polytechnic Institute (1987). After graduation, Loznitsa was employed as a scientist at the Glushkov Institute of Cybernetics until 1991, focusing on the development of expert systems, artificial intelligence, and translating Japanese. It was during this time that he developed a strong interest in cinematography. In 1991 he was admitted to the Russian State Institute for Cinematography in Moscow, later graduating with honours. Early in his film career Loznitsa produced short films through the famed St. Petersburg Documentary Studio. He immigrated to Germany with his family in 2001. Loznitsa has completed over 25 films, including an incredible range of shorts. His film Factory (2004) won Media City Film Festival’s Grand Prize, and the director returned for his first North American film retrospective at MCFF in 2006. His first features My Joy (2010), In the Fog (2012), and Maidan (2014) had their World Premiere at Cannes, where In The Fog won the FIPRESCI Prize. The Event (2015), Austerlitz (2016),The Trial (2018), and State Funeral (2019) premiered at the Venice Biennale. A Gentle Creature (2017) was nominated for the Palme d’Or. He was awarded Best Director for Donbass (2018) at Cannes. His short and feature-length films have screened widely, including at the Toronto, Berlin, and New York Film Festivals. Loznitsa and his partner Maria Choustova founded the film production company ATOMS & VOID in 2013.  

TWO FILMS BY SERGEI LOZNITSA 

ONLINE SCREENING DATES: May 20 – June 10, 2021

FILMS IN THIS PROGRAM: Maidan, 128 min, 2014; Reflections (Director’s Cut), 17.5 min, 2014


Maidan, 128 min, 2014

Maidan is a documentary film focusing on the Euromaidan movement of 2013 and 2014 in Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square) in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv. It was filmed during the protests and depicts different aspects of the revolution, from the peaceful rallies to bloody clashes between police and civilians.The intensity of this authentic documentary report comes from the surgical precision with which Loznitsa stitches together the understated individual micro dramas. By means of captivating images, he communicates to the viewer the gravity of the endlessly drawn out days during which Maidan became home to hundreds of thousands of ordinary Ukrainians. – Karlovy Vary International Film Festival

Reflections, 17.5 min, 2014

Reflections was made as part of the anthology The Bridges of Sarajevo (2014), which explores the role of Sarajevo in Europe from the outset of the First World War in 1914 onwards, with contributing directors including Jean-Luc Godard and Cristi Puiu. Loznitsa’s film creates a bridge between the city’s past and present. Photographs of men with guns, taken in 1992 by the Bosnian photographer Milomir Kovacevic during the Siege of Sarajevo, are superimposed on footage of the city in 2014; the images of modern city life are reflections in the glass covering the war photos. – IDFA

 

The remnants of the former Soviet Union have always appeared in my films, but the problems I deal with exist in [Western] Europe too. The idea that some people know how others should live — and the fact that those people will try and force others to live that way too — still exists. The idea that a society is divided into a majority and a minority, and that the majority is always right, hasn’t gone anywhere either. The Soviet Union and Nazi Germany were just the extreme manifestations of these ideas, and ones that I’m sure will reappear in the future. That’s why I try to go back to the past — because we can be impartial and look back at what really happened.  – Sergei Loznitsa 

Read the full interview with Sergei Loznitsa at Calvert Journal here. 

All stills, photographs and artwork courtesy ©Sergei Loznitsa and ATOMS & VOID.