The Montreal International Documentary Festival(RIDM) is back with the RIDM+ cycle, presented by Télé-Québec. At the end of every month, the audience is invited to discover documentaries that are still unreleased in Quebec. To kick-start the 2019 edition, which will run until May, RIDM+ presents Putin’s Witnesses by Vitaly Mansky, winner of the Best Documentary Film Award at the 2018 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.
The film will be screened on Thursday, January 31 at 7p.m at Cinéma du Parc
PUTIN’S WITNESSES directed by Vitaly Mansky
Latvia, Switzerland, Czech Republic | 2018 | 102 minutes
Original Russian version with English subtitles
By the early 2000s, Vitaly Mansky was an official videographer for the Russian government. Following the surprise resignation of Boris Yeltsin on the evening of December 31, 1999, Mansky was commissioned to film the presidential campaign through a portrait of young interim President Vladimir Putin, still unknown from the public. Benefitting from an access that would be unthinkable in our era, the filmmaker shot hours of material with the future Head of State, never hesitating to confront him on many issues.
Nearly twenty years later, Mansky is rediscovering his images in order to criticize them. Was he an involuntary accomplice to Putin? Was it possible then to foresee the rise of the soon-to-become political monster? Clearly assuming his role in history, the director offers a reflexion on collective responsibility towards the political system and a rare insight of the first steps of creation of one of the most powerful politicians of the 21st century.
”Not only was I a witness, but I also participated in this operation that placed Vladimir Putin on the “throne” of Moscow. My testimony is important not only to heal Russian society’s advanced illness, it is also crucial for other countries so that they can avoid the loss of their liberties.” - Vitaly Mansky
Every last Thursday of the month, the RIDM+ cycle offer moviegoers the chance to discover quality documentaries that had great success in recent well-known festivals. Rare opportunity to see these films on a big screen in the city, the RIDM+ cycle is also an opportunity to meet the filmmakers or attend a special presentation given by an expert on a film’s subject matter.