Tim Whewell is in St Petersburg to meet the self-styled Russian nationalists and patriots who are volunteering to join the fighting in eastern Ukraine. He joins a group of volunteers as they undertake military training, and travels to Ukraine to see how the volunteer force is fighting on the ground.
For 45 years, America was locked in the Cold War with the Soviet Union, and fear of global nuclear annihilation was constant. The end of the Cold War in 1991 was supposed to usher in a new era of peace and cooperation, but it didn’t last. Tensions between the U.S. and Russia have been simmering for years. And now, the conflict in Ukraine has pushed the relationship to the brink of full-blown crisis. VICE Founder Shane Smith met Kremlin officials and American leaders to figure out what’s really driving the new standoff between the powers, while correspondent Simon Ostrovsky reported from the front lines of the bloody war in Eastern Ukraine.
Chronicling events that unfolded over 93 days in 2013 and 2014, this documentary witnesses the formation of a new civil rights movement in Ukraine. What started as peaceful student demonstrations supporting European integration morphed into a full-fledged violent revolution calling for the resignation of the nation's president. The film captures the remarkable mobilization of nearly a million citizens from across the country protesting the corrupt political regime that utilized extreme force against its own people to suppress their demands and freedom of expression.
Austrian director Michael Glawogger travels to five countries to focus on some of the worst jobs imaginable: Ukrainian miners crawl into tiny cracks in old coal pits to scratch out a few bags of winter fuel; Indonesian workers trudge long distances carrying baskets with hundreds of pounds of sulfur chunks extracted from a steaming mountain; Pakistanis risk explosions and burial under tons of scrap iron as they dismantle huge carrier ships. The visuals are everything here. Despite the hardships depicted, many sequences have a dreamlike beauty. In addition, the director has a bone-dry sense of irony; during the Ukraine scenes, he frequently cuts away to a statue of Stakhanov, the "hero" lauded by the Soviets for his superhuman work habits. He also shows us an old German smelting works that's been converted into a theme park.
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