For all of the awful things that have happened in the United States over the past ten years, from the burst of the housing bubble to the events that have necessitated Black Lives Matter, it’s still impossible to imagine our government responding to citizens’ assembly the way the Ukrainian government did in 2013 and 2014. What began as a peaceful gathering of concerned students ballooned into a citywide revolution after the president’s peacekeeping forces turned live ammunition on citizens. The movie would be remarkable regardless of its ending, since director Evgeny Afineevsky has compiled startling footage recorded in the midst of the action as it’s happening, which makes Winter on Fire reminiscent of 2013’s The Square about Egypt’s part in the Arab Spring. You watch people die in that one too.
Quicker take: Sobering Exhibit A in the evidence that rioters don’t always start the riot.