Give Me Liberty

Institute History

  • 2019 Sundance Film Festival


Vic, a hapless young Russian American, drives a handicapped transport in Milwaukee, where he shares an apartment with his grandfather. Already late on a day when street protests break out, Vic reluctantly agrees to ferry his grandfather and a dozen elderly Russians to a funeral, but they’re distressed when he stops first in a predominantly African American neighborhood to pick up Tracy, a black woman with ALS. On the verge of being fired, Vic’s day goes from bad to worse.

Kirill Mikhanovsky’s hilarious, heartbreaking debut feature draws from personal experience to create—with writer Alice Austen—a raw, inventive “day in the life” story about marginalized characters encountering literal and figurative roadblocks, the American dream nowhere to be found.

A charming, comedic look at ordinary people and a rigged system, Give Me Liberty has a flavor of the Czech New Wave, using a supremely light touch, wry dissent, nonprofessional actors, and unscripted moments. Its heart and soul rests in wonderful moments of impromptu interaction that are so genuine and contain a universe of compassion and understanding.

— J.N.

Screening Details

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