All aboard a jam-packed medical transport van as it races around the streets of Milwaukee at a dizzying pace. Vic (Chris Galust) is a young driver of Russian descent who transports patients with disabilities around the city. When the ride that was supposed to take his relatives to a family funeral doesn’t show up, he decides to take them himself—risking his job and setting off on a wild, no-holds-barred ride. Kirill Mikhanovsky’s spirited comedy combines a merciless sense of humor with an attentive look—though devoid of sentimentality—at the situation facing minorities living in Wisconsin. Immigrants from Russia chatting in their native language, patients arranging an unusual song contest, a boxer and petty criminal with a noble heart, and an Afro-American family headed by a warm-hearted matriarch—Give Me Liberty portrays characters for whom nothing is more important than their solidarity with other human beings. Mikhanovsky, who emigrated from Moscow to the United States in the 1990s, used a cast of primarily amateurs. One of the most important roles is played by Lauren Spencer, the wheelchair-bound creator of Sitting Pretty Lolo, a popular YouTube channel about the life of a disabled person.
Jerusalem FF 2019 – In Spirit for Freedom Award for Best Feature
Kirill Mikhanovsky is a graduate of NYU’s Film School and the Sundance Screenwriters Lab. He was born and raised in Moscow, where his passion for film took shape. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, he emigrated to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he began making films and doing odd jobs, including providing medical transport for the disabled. He has taken part in projects carried out in Russia and Brazil. His directorial debut, Sonhos de Peixe (2006), won an award at the Cannes Festival.
2006 Sonhos de Peixe / Fish Dreams
2019 Wolności! / Give Me Liberty