Orange Sky

Orange Sky (Помаранчеве небо) is a 2006 Ukrainian film that turns the 2005 Orange Revolution into a love story. The film’s tag line, “Revolution is love” (“Революція—це кохання”), is a pretty neat expression of the film’s content.

The film tells the story of Mark Zaduhka (Марк Задуха), one of Ukraine’s so-called “golden youth.” He’s from a rich family and thinks only about fancy cars and nightclubs, and occasionally also of his future, which he plans to start out by studying at a university abroad. But then he meets Ivanna (Іванна), a young woman who’s passionate about Ukraine’s political prospects. They fall in love, and Ivanna convinces Mark of how important it is to think about one’s country. The second half of the film depicts Ukraine’s 2005 Orange Revolution, largely through the experiences of Mark and Ivanna, and how the two change each other as they try to change their country. (See 2009’s OrangeLove for a very different take on this same theme.)

The film attempted to pay appropriate homage to the Orange Revolution: the scenes depicting the revolution took place on the anniversary of the actual revolution, and political leaders including Yuliya Timoshenko (Юлія Тимошенко) and Viktor Yushchenko (Віктор Ющенко) are actually shown in the film. The extras in the film were not actors but just ordinary people, meant to evoke the everyday people who took part in the revolution. The film also featured a number of songs by popular Ukrainian bands, written around the time of the revolution or in reaction to it—among them Okean Elzi, Lyuk, and 5’nizza.

Orange Sky got average reviews from audiences, but it drew a certain amount of praise from critics. It was one of the first native-Ukrainian films to be shown widely throughout the entire country, and it was lauded for the high quality of its filmmaking. Unsurprisingly, it was criticized from a political perspective—it had a number of inconsistencies from historical fact and in general simplified events. But perhaps the presentation of the revolution as a love story, and the uniting of two people previously on opposite sides, says something more accurate about the 2005 events that it’s hard to argue against.

 

Director: Oleksandr Kirienko (Олександр Кірієнко)
Stars: Oleksandr Limaryev (Олександр Лимарєв), Lidiya Obolenska (Лідія Оболенська), Mikola Chindyaykin (Микола Чіндяйкін), Kseniya Belaya (Ксенія Бєлая), Lesya Samayeva (Леся Самаєва)
Production company: Cinema

 

Official trailer:

 

Orange Sky

Julie is currently studying Russian as a Second Language in Irkutsk (and before that, Bishkek) with SRAS's Home and Abroad Scholarship program, with the goal of someday having some sort of Russia/Eurasia-related career. She recently got her master’s degree from the University of Glasgow and the University of Tartu, where she studied women’s dissent in Soviet Russia. She also has a bachelor’s degree in literature from Yale. Some of her favorite Russian authors are Sorokin, Shishkin, Il’f and Petrov, and Akhmatova. In her spare time Julie cautiously practices martial arts, reads feminist websites, and taste-tests instant coffee for her blog.