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Ajyal Film Festival 2019

All Films

Give Me Liberty

Ajyal Competition

Kirill Mikhanovsky / Feature Narrative / United States of America / 2019 / 111 min / DCP
In English, Russian
Interests: Comedy, Drama, Social Issues
Middle East Premiere
Rated: Mature subject matter. Not suitable for minors. Individuals under the age of 18 are not admitted into cinemas.

Synopsis

In this freewheeling and rambunctious comedy, medical transport driver Vic is late, but it’s not entirely his fault. Roads are closed for a protest, and no one else is available to shuttle his grandfather and a dozen elderly Russians to a funeral. Unable to refuse, Vic happily accepts them on his bus of regular clients who include Tracy, a vibrant young woman with ALS, a morbidly obese man with a nonstop litany of complaints and patients from the Eisenhower Center—a vocational facility for adults with severe neurological or developmental disabilities.

It’s far from a smooth ride though, and almost every stop they make entails another frustrating, but often hilarious, delay for the motley crew aboard. As the day goes from hectic to off-the-rails, their collective journey becomes a compassionate and ultimately endearing portrait of American dreams and disenchantment. The film refreshingly opens its door to a diverse and underrepresented community, and through raw and absorbing performances by all, it shines an empathetic light on those whom society too often overlooks.

About the Directors

Kirill Mikhanovsky is a writer and director, known for ‘Sonhos de Peixe’ (2006), ‘Gabriel and the Mountain’ (2017), and ‘Give Me Liberty’ (2019). Mikhanovsky immigrated to Milwaukee, where he studied Linguistics and Anthropology at UWM, and had a series of odd jobs, including driving medical transport for people with disabilities. An alumnus of NYU’s Graduate Film program and the Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab, he founded Give Me Liberty Productions with Austen in 2015.

Credits

Director
Kirill Mikhanovsky
Screenwriter
Alice Austen, Kirill Mikhanovsky
Producer
Alice Austen, Kirill Mikhanovsky, George Rush, Val Abel, Sergey Shtern
Associate Producer
Jessica Knap, Andrew Swant, Jennifer 8. Lee
Production Designer
Bart Mangrum
Executive Producer
Ryan Zacarias, Benh Zeitlin
Co-Producer
Lisa Alfelt, Catherine Donnell, Boris Frumin, Karri O’Reilly
Cinematographer
Wyatt Garfield
Sales Company
Wild Bunch
Cast
Chris Galust, Lauren "Lolo" Spencer, Maksim Stoyanov, Steve Wolski, Michelle Caspar, Ben Derfel

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