“Maidan: Tonight Tomorrow,” Davide Monteleone and Leeor Kaufman’s short film about the unrest in Ukraine
In “Maidan: Tonight Tomorrow,” Davide Monteleone and Leeor Kaufman’s short film about the unrest in Ukraine, a protester tells the camera, not without pride, that most of his friends call him a fascist. “To me, that sounds like ‘patriot,’” he says. “I say, ‘Thank you, that’s a compliment.’” Even after a pro-Western industrialist, Petro Poroshenko, won the recent Presidential election, the influence of fascism in Ukrainian politics remains a subject of debate. To Vladimir Putin, the country is full of fascists—but he has enlarged the definition to include anyone who resists partitioning the country. To the supporters of the protesters, including the prominent Yale historian Timothy Snyder, the fascist influence is overstated.
The film takes us to Maidan, when the new Ukrainian government was being forced to reckon with the far right. During the initial protests that forced out the corrupt government of Viktor Yanukovych, the ultra-nationalist group Right Sector played a crucial role, providing muscle to protesters who were largely unequipped to do their own fighting. The Right Sector had been viewed with some distaste in cosmopolitan Kiev. Now its members found themselves tolerated, even respected, by other protesters in the square.