Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Year's Eve 2005 in Kyiv, Ukraine


this is a long, 20 minute clip from new year's eve 2005 in kyiv. the orange revolution demonstrations and the third round of elections (that yushchenko won) had just concluded. on this day, people were anxiously awaiting the inauguration of yushchenko and the start of a truly new year.

i post this as reminder of the optimism about the potential and, what is more, of the strong will for change that existed at the time in ukraine. my point is not to feel pessimistic about all that hasn't happened in ukraine since, but rather, to provide a reminder of what is yet to be done.

most of this was filmed on a tiny, hand-held jvc, dv-camera without the use of a monopod, tripod, or proper microphone, so the quality is pretty shabby. the quality greatly improves about half way into the clip, for the simple reasons that i was no longer standing smooshed between people and therefore had more control over my movements than in the huge mass, and i wasn't using digital zoom to film things too far off in the distance anymore.

i did not provide subtitles, so here are some notes:

the first speaker is mikheil saakashvili, the current president of georgia who rose to power via similar events as the orange revolution. saakashvili was once a university student in kyiv during soviet times, and brilliantly addressed the multitude of new year's revelers that night on independence square mostly in ukrainian.

the next person to appear is yushchenko--he made that night a claim that has become a rather famous for him; in sum, he says that for the last 14 years before the orange revolution, ukraine has been independent but not free, but after the orange revolution, ukraine has become not only independent but also free at last.

following yushchenko, julija tymoshenko then oleksandr moroz give some new year's greetings. moroz's comments were cut short by the arrival of the new year, something that today seems rather appropriate--i.e., that his comments would be cut short.

after the holiday greetings follows some music:

first, oleksandr ponomarov sings the national anthem of ukraine. 

then the band Green Jolly makes an appearance.  they first played their hit song that was an anthem of the orange revolution, razom nas bahato, nas ne podalaty (together we are many, we won't be overcome).  their next song, dobryj vechir (good evening) is, to my mind, a beautiful one, and the moment at that time on independence square when they sang it was really great, filled as it was by a song that seemed so heartfelt. in the song, the narrator is singing good evening to his/her mother and friends, wishing them good fortune, good health, etc.

following next is footage of the super star group tartak. i included footage of them singing their two hits, veselo (happy)! and hoolihan (hooligan). i quite dig this group.

after them comes someone singing a more traditional ukrainian pop song--i forget the singer's name, ale, ras, dva, try, bud'mo--hej hej hej, anyway! there is nice footage of people dancing around and of a contemporary zaporozhets (not of a car, but of a fellow sporting a cossack hair-do).

this would not be a clip edited by yours truly without what comes next: folk musicians and people dancing on the street.

next is a bit of footage from january 1: the tent camp on khreshchatyk (the main boulevard through heart of kyiv that was the epicenter of the orange revolution), followed by one of my favorites of all my clips: a really great shot of a spetsnas (special forces) soldier guarding the presidential administration building and unwrapping some candy or gum. the shot is reminiscent of vladimir putin's refusal of the big baby viktor yanukovych's offer of candy during a parade that took place in kyiv, just before the start of the election debacle that led to the orange revolution.

after that come two more clips of dancing and of new year's reveling. these two clips--one of folks dancing on independence square to a guy playing accordion, and another of a baba busting some fantastic moves to the musicians playing in the entrance to the teatralna stanstija (theater metro station)--are the best bits of this entire little 20 minute film. (most especially the baba dancing!!)


us'oho najkrashchoho,

i veselykh svjat! 

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