Photo: www.orangechronicles.com (с) 2008
A screening of The Orange Chronicles in London
8 October 2008
The award winning documentary “The Orange Chronicles” was shown at the LSE on the 6th October, in conjunction with the LSE’s Ukrainian Society, and at UCL SSEES on the 8th October, in association with the Masaryk Society.
“The Orange Chronicles” is a powerfully moving and unique examination of Ukraine’s Orange Revolution from the perspective of an intrepid Ukrainian-American filmmaker. Director Damian Kolodiy, criss-crossed the country in the weeks before the remarkable events of 2004 as a volunteer International Election Observer, recording the build-up to what turned out to be one of the most astonishing bloodless political turnarounds in recent history.
“The Orange Chronicles” focuses on the passionate people who filled the streets of Kyiv during the Presidential Elections of 2004 to protest the poisoning of their candidate Viktor Yushchenko, an unjust election and the corrupt government that created it. Narrated by the filmmaker, “The Orange Chronicles” documents operations and sentiments on the ground during the lead up to the elections, and provides a clear understanding of the dramatic confrontations and high stakes of that time. It also explores what motivated the people to activate, as well as the emotional conflicts among a bitterly divided populace. Lessons about the power of organized activism can be applied the world over to successful opposition against electoral corruption.
Members of the public and student’s from various faculties at the universities attended the screenings.
The film director, Damian Kolodiy, was present on both nights for Q&A.
Points discussed and debated included the uncertain political future of Ukraine, what the Orange Revolution had achieved, if anything, and the director’s thoughts on the progress of democracy and media freedom in Ukraine. Damian also expounded on his experiences on the ground in the midst of the revolution, the process of compiling and editing the footage afterwards, and what drove him to make the film in the first place.
Dr Peter Duncan, Head of the Dept of Social Sciences at SSEES, gave an informative introduction before the second screening that contextualized the events of the Orange Revolution within the framework of today’s Ukraine, a political landscape that continues to shift and change.
Damian Kolodiy profile:
Damian was born in Bronx, NY, but spent his adolescent youth in Maplewood, NJ.
He is a graduate of the Film program at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts.
In November of 2004, Damian decided to go to Ukraine as an election monitor with the intention to make a film about the Ukrainian presidential elections. He called on his long-time friend, editor Peter Zielyk, to help edit the film upon his return in 2 weeks. Damian ended up staying in Ukraine for 3 months to document the events now known as the Orange Revolution. Two years later, Zielyk and Kolodiy have completed the film and are putting efforts towards screening “The Orange Chronicles” around the world.