This found footage film is composed entirely of often-shocking videos that Russian teenagers have posted on social media. Innocent morning rituals on YouTube or TikTok have been placed next to shots of panicking young people fleeing school shooters. And students all over Russia are apparently secretly recording images of violent teachers who can’t keep their hands to themselves. In class they are told that a woman must have sex with her husband whenever he wants; furthermore, students are called idiots and are beaten. One critical teenager is threateningly told that a report will be made about her political views.
The mobile phone forms a kind of shield between the young people and this brutal world, turning them into not only observers but also accusers. However extreme the events, they keep filming. Manifesto is a dark mosaic, cumulatively disturbing, and culminating in a horrifying ending. The film shows how aggression and oppression are unwittingly passed on to the next generation.
Nominated for Beeld en Geluid IDFA ReFrame Award