Putin's Witnesses 15+, unless accompanied by an adult
South Australian Premiere
“riveting, incensed…not just a major, access-rich overview of recent history, but a compelling work of personal self-reckoning” (Variety)
New Year’s Eve 1999 ushered in not just a new millennium but also the presidency of Vladimir Putin. Almost two decades later he is still there, though many of those in his initial entourage are in opposition to him and/or dead. Vitaly Mansky numbers himself among Putin’s early supporters; as head of documentary for Russian state television, he was tasked with making an observational film to underpin Putin’s first bid for election. With close personal access to the new leader and also to Boris Yeltsin, the man who put him there, Mansky gives a closely considered and understated, though no less damning for that, portrait of Putin as the new prince, the man building a fresh tyranny on the ashes of the old. One man’s journey to totalitarian rule is another man’s journey into personal disillusion.
“Extraordinarily revealing…the fact that the main protagonists seem willing to engage with Mansky on such a personal level seems astounding.” (Screen International)
Director Vitaly Mansky | Producer Natalia Manskaya, Gabriela Bussmann, Filip Remunda, Vit Klusak | Cinematographer Archival Material | Editor Gunta Ikere | Composer Karlis Auzans | Distributor Deckert Distribution
Vitaly Mansky was born in the Ukraine in 1963 and went on to study film at VGIK in Moscow. His films include Lenin’s Body (1991), Gorbachev: After the Empire (2000), Yeltsin: Another Life (2001), Putin: The Leap Year (2001), Motherland or Death (2011), Under the Sun (2015) and Close Relations (2016). He now lives in Riga, Latvia where he is the founder of the ArtDoc Festival.