SynopsisEvery year, on the 9th of May, people gather in Treptower Park in Berlin. They come dressed in their best outfits or in Soviet military uniform. They carry flags, banners and posters. They lay flowers at the monument to the Soviet soldier; they sing, dance and drink. They celebrate the victory of the Soviet Union over Nazi Germany.
The film is a direct reportage from Treptower Park 72 years after the victory.
"The Soviet Memorial in Treptower Park is among the most impressive of the monuments commemorating the Second World War in Berlin. Each year on May 9th, the day of the Red Army’s victory over the Nazis, the memorial becomes the setting for a vast gathering.
This film documents the proceedings from early morning, when a small group of visitors enter with their dogs, pulling a little wagon carrying a portrait of Stalin, to the evening, after the last patriotic songs have been sung, the selfies with flags sent, the vodka drunk and the speeches have faded away. The camera is always in the thick of the action, both inspired and propelled by an atmosphere that is a mixture of pride and reflection, patriotism and a desire for recognition, shame and typical Berlin curiosity. The spectator becomes aware of just how choreographed each of the actions here are, whether performed by young or old, women in traditional costumes or men in uniform: on this date the memorial reveals its power as a cinematographic magnet, revealing how, even 72 years after the end of the war, an infinite number of lifelines intersect and are defined from exactly this spot, stretching out over Berlin and far beyond." (68th Berlinale)
"Acclaimed director Sergei Loznitsa’s acute eye dissects the strange choreography of one of Germany’s most culturally fascinating events: the annual commemoration of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazism, celebrated for the last 72 years in Berlin." (25th Hot Docs)