Give Me Liberty | Chicago Reader
click to enlarge give_me_liberty-web.jpg

Give Me Liberty

Kirill Mikhanovsky’s autobiographical black comedy deals with a very specific place and experience, yet it always feels thoroughly expansive, thanks to a panoramic cast of characters and an exhilarating filmmaking style. Set in working-class Milwaukee, the film spends a day with Vic, a 25-year-old Russian emigre who earns a living by driving a van for individuals with physical and/or intellectual disabilities. (All of the clients are played by nonprofessional actors with actual disabilities, which gives this an air of documentary realism.) He also commandeers the van for personal use; much of the film’s conflict derives from Vic trying to do his job while transporting a dozen Russian seniors to a relative’s funeral. Mikhanovsky, who cowrote the script with producer Alice Austen, also edited the film, and he maintains an unpredictable, arrhythmic progression that heightens the sense of ever-mounting stress. One minor crisis gives rise to another, making the protagonist seem like a magnet for chaos. Wittily and dynamically, the film makes palpable the struggle to do well by people in need. In English and subtitled Russian.



  • Lauren Spencer
  • Chris Galust
  • Maksim Stoyanov
  • Daria Ekamasova
  • Zoya Makhlina
  • Dorothy Reynolds
  • Sheryl Sims-Daniels
  • Steve Wolski
  • Michelle Caspar
  • Ben Derfel
  • Josette Daniels
  • Atavia Goldstar
  • Shawn Jolly
  • Steve Piper
  • Lindsey Willicombe

What others are saying

  • Reviews/comments

    Subscribe to this thread:

    Add a review

    Roll over stars and click to rate.

    Now Playing

    By Film...

    By Theater...