SUMMARY: An anti-war film which explores the relationship between art, ideology and power.
WHY IT’S HERE: It was a major surprise and disappointment when Theodore Ushev’s ‘Gloria Victoria’ was not nominated for an Oscar. Most people who had seen it prior to the awards, myself included, imagined it would be a sure fire nominee and probable winner but sadly it ended up as neither. An astonishingly ravishing short that took two years to complete, Ushev’s film is set to Skostakovich’s stirringly dramatic ‘Leningrad Symphony’ which drives forward the imagery on screen. Combining angular abstraction with recognisable shapes and scenes, ‘Gloria Victoria’ wordlessly lays out the horrors of war and calls emphatically for peace through the use of images alone. Dark reds, browns and oranges mingle in a peerless evocation of human massacres and senseless loss of life. For all its unflinching graphicness, ‘Gloria Victoria’ is an uncommonly beautiful film, as overwhelming visually as it is thematically, and it leaves the viewer with a determination to make a better world rather than a sense of despair at what has gone before. A latter day masterpiece.