Review: ‘Stop Revolution’

Non-starter "Stop Revolution" offers a convoluted look at Ukraine's culture of corruption, encompassing the 1986 Chernobyl meltdown, protests marking the 2004 "Orange Revolution," and a nonsensical action story involving a former nuclear physicist, notorious super criminal and four skydivers.

Non-starter “Stop Revolution” offers a convoluted look at Ukraine’s culture of corruption, encompassing the 1986 Chernobyl meltdown, protests marking the 2004 “Orange Revolution,” and a nonsensical action story involving a former nuclear physicist, notorious super criminal and four skydivers. Writer-director Ivan Kravchyshyn’s feature debut plays like a low-grade Emir Kusterica imitation interrupted by documentary footage. Reportedly a completely reshot and recut version of a little-seen pic (known in English as “We Will Break Through”) that played Ukraine in 2006, the title was billed as a world premiere in Karlovy Vary. Current rendering seems destined for obscurity.

Flashback-infused narrative is intro’d via voiceover by one-time top scientist, now prisoner, Nestor Ivanovich Hreem (Mykola Oliynyk), during a police interrogation. His life story intersects with that of some naive sportsmen who’ve gotten on the wrong side of evil gangster “Doc” — Hreem’s brother. At one time, “Doc” ran the ministry charged with sending aid to Chernobyl victims. He encouraged Nestor’s son to volunteer there, resulting in his painful death from radiation poisoning. Interesting archival footage from Chernobyl (and that shot to match by Kravchyshyn’s crew) doesn’t fit well with the rest of the pic.

Stop Revolution

Ukraine

Production

A PRE presentation. (International sales: PRE, Kiev.) Produced, directed, written, edited by Ivan Kravchyshyn.

Crew

Camera (color, B&W), Mykhailo Kretov; music, Igor Stetsiuk; sound (Dolby Digital). Reviewed at Karlovy Vary Film Festival (East of the West), July 5, 2007. Running time: 96 MIN.

With

Mykola Oliynyk, Oleksiy Vertynskyi, Oleksiy Bondarev, Lev Somov, Viktoriya Smacheliuk.
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