The Vitaly Mansky’s documentary ‘Putin’s Witnesses’ has won the Documentary Films Competition at the 53rd edition of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and will have its Baltic premiere at the Riga International Film Festival on October 23. Tickets are already available.
‘Putin’s Witnesses’ is an unprecedentedly close portrait of the President of Russia and his allies. There are videos from the private archive of the Mansky’s family and footage shot at the turn of the 21st century when the current political elite of Russia was formed. At that period, Vitaly Mansky made several films that allowed him to enter the off-stage of the state politics. Those were films about Mikhail Gorbachev, Boris Yeltsin, Vladimir Putin and life inside the Kremlin. The previously unrevealed footage shows the most crucial transition in the recent history of Russia. The documentary testimonies tell about the events which followed the unexpected resignation of the Russia’s president Boris Yeltsin and the start of ‘Operation Successor’ that brought Vladimir Putin to the throne of power.
When asked about the significance of this film, the director gives the following answer: “My testimony is important not only for the Russian society – to cure it from an advanced disease, but also for other countries – to prevent them from losing their freedom. This film calls to look back on and reflect upon the portrayed process of change as cinema is like a mirror allowing us not only to look at ourselves here and now, but also in a historical perspective.”
Sonora Broka, the creative director of the RIGA IFF, characterizes the topicality of this film as sadly paradoxical, taking into account that its footage was made almost 20 years ago. ‘Putin’s Witnesses’ is an opportunity to land in the segment of time when a new, frightening era commenced. An era that continues to cast its shadows over us.
‘Putin’s Witnesses’ is a co-production by Studio Vertov (Latvia), GoldenEggProduction (Switzerland ) and Hypermarket Film (Czechia).