“[A] timely and fascinating look at grassroots democracy in action."
– Chicago Reader
Orange Revolution (92 min.) is the story of a people united, not by one leader or one party, but by one idea: a better future, in a country of their own.
The election seems a foregone conclusion. Even though the opposition presidential candidate, Viktor Yushchenko, holds a commanding lead in opinion polls, Ukraine's post-Soviet regime has an iron grip on the police, the military, the media, and the electoral machinery. No one expects the election to be fair. Six weeks before the November 2004 vote, Yushchenko is poisoned. He barely survives, campaigning in pain, his face severely scarred by the toxin.
With tensions mounting, Ukrainians head to the polls. That night, when the blatant electoral fraud becomes clear, citizens arise into the nonviolent Orange Revolution. They converge on the capital, by the hundreds of thousands, building tent camps, occupying central Kyiv, and paralyzing the government. “Tak!” their orange flags read - for “Yes!” to Yushchenko.
Accompanied by rock musicians, their protests escalate. When troops are ordered to break up the protests with live ammunition, Ukraine's secret intelligence officers intervene, averting a massacre. In dramatic televised Supreme Court proceedings, the fraud is proven beyond doubt, and the justices call for new elections in a few weeks. A month later, the people of Ukraine pour into the streets again, this time to celebrate the inauguration of President Yushchenko.
Aired on public television stations across the U.S. in 2010.