I am Vlad (2022 Film)
|I am Vlad|
Soravian: Я Влад
Je suis Vlad
Theatrical release poster for the Montecara Film Festival
|I am Vlad|
|Directed by||Zidere Sobol|
|Written by||Valerij Okishev|
|Screenplay by||Halina Voshko |
|Based on||The Story of Vlad by Maria Steprikov|
|Produced by||Tanya Terpilovich |
|Starring||Vanda Alinna |
|Edited by||Zoya Sokolova|
|Music by||Smarcek Gavrilyuk|
|Distributed by||Swan Films|
|Box office||€33 million|
I am Vlad is a biographical drama film directed and produced by Zidere Sobol. It follows the life of Vinalian President and Minister President Vladyslava Danylivna from the her exile from Vinalia following the coup that overthrew her father, to returning to South Vinalia and becoming its president, and being instrumental in reunifying Vinalia in 1993. The movie is based on the 2000 Novel The Story of Vlad by Maria Steprikov.
The movie stars primarily Vanda Alinna, Leonid Borisov, Beleka Zhena, Olesya Ruban, Badiul Stryovich and Barech Chiuchia. The book was announced to be in the process of being adapted by Zidere Sobol and Halina Voshko on 2020, the project was green lit on February 2021 and filming began on October 2021. Vanda Alinna had secured the lead role in 2020, and the screenplay was written with her in mind.
Vladyslava Danylivna (Vanda Alinna) is an 8 year old girl attending her first day to the Velkarichkan School of the Asterias, a prestigious private all-girls institution. Her father is current President of the Second Republic of Vinalia Stefan Danylivna, who had assumed the presidency 4 months prior. Due to his liberal policies he is overthrown in a military coup by the junta of the Kotenko brothers on August 11th, 1968. Danylivna introduces herself to her peers, and finishes when she’s picked up abruptly by the family driver who drives her to the Gaullican embassy in Velkarichka where she is reunited with her mother Alina (Olesya Ruban), as soldiers patrol the Vinalian capital searching for loyalists of Stefan. Vladyslava and her mother stay in the Gaullican embassy for fear they’ll be arrested like Stefan. They are granted political asylum 3 days later and flown out of the country, entering exile. Vladyslava reprises the introduction she initially gave in Velkarichka over the years as she changes schools constantly, as she frequently gets into fights with other girls. In 1972 she learns of her fathers death in prison through a television broadcast on a Verlois diner, causing her to change her attitude.
In 1978, Vlad enters the University of Verlois, studying journalism, having changed her life following her fathers death and becoming academically successful. In Verlois she meets Olina Myroslavivnas (Beleka Zhena) a renown Vinalian writer, who also lives in exile in Gaullica. Olina introduces Vladyslava to the academic diaspora that Vinalians have created when fleeing both North and South Vinalia. Olina encourages Vladyslava to write about her homeland using the safety of being abroad. Vladyslava begins work on several opinions regarding Vinalia and their conflict, writing under the pen name of “Lady of the ill fated spring” a reference to the poem by Vinalian poet Pylyp Stryovich. Her opinions and poems are well received by the intellectual diaspora of Vinalia, and are smuggled by North Vinalian sympathizers into South Vinalia. In 1982, Vladyslava accepts an opportunity to continue her studies in Verlois, but is invited officially by Artem Kotenko (Leonid Borisov), the younger brother of the now dead Dmytro. She is invited to South Vinalia in celebration of Velkarichka’s 200 year establishment as the Vinalian capital. Artem who desires to gain legitimacy in the people, seeks to use Vlad as a way to establish that he is in friendly terms with the family of the now dead but still popular Stefan. Vlad accepts the offer despite her mothers warnings, and attends the event. Following the event however she is offered an opportunity to continue her studies in the University of Velkarichka by Director of the University who expects Vlad to decline. She accepts instead and returns to South Vinalia after 14 years.
Vlad receives criticism for her decision, with numerous intellectuals calling her a traitor publicly in Verlois. Vlad continues her studies in Velkarichka, but also maintains writing as the Lady of the ill fated spring, although she changes her tone. She smuggles her writings through an undercover member (Barech Chiuchia) of the North Vinalian Intelligence Agency. In 1983 she meets an undergraduate Agricultural student Kobanovets Shevchenko, who shares his love for the Lady of the ill fated spring writings which have spread through the Liberal underground of the university. The morning after, a violent coup attempt is launched by anti-Artem forces, and heavy fighting erupts in the city. Coup soldiers attempt to take over the university but are stopped by students, however the coup fails elsewhere and the soldiers fire on the students. When government forces arrive to secure the university and arrest the remaining coup soldiers, heavy fighting erupts and numerous students are killed, among them Kobanovets. The day radicalizes Vlad and she begins to get involved in the underground political movement against the South Vinalian military government, there she meets Sokira Semenovich (Badiul Stryovich) and begins dating.
In 1984, Vlad graduates from university, and accepts a position in the Velkaricka Independent a popular newspaper in the city. Although she continues writing under her pen name. In 1985 she returns to Verlois, where her mother is dying of Breast cancer. Vladyslava speaks with the son of Myroslavivna, Fleur who has established a small publishing house in Verlois, Vladyslava states to Fleur that she is the Lady of the ill fated spring and gives him all her writings, desiring to compile them into a single comprehensive text, a wish of the late Kobanovets who had stated a desire for such comprehensive text to exist. In early 1987 Vlad covers a series of strikes by indigenous workers in steel plants throughout the country demanding wage increases, as the Independent attempts to report more on the injustices of the country. While leaving one strike, Vlad and her driver are stopped in an army checkpoint and thoroughly checked, following the checkpoint however the soldiers are attacked by striking workers causing them to fire in the direction of Vlads car hitting the driver and killing him instantly. Vlad who is also struck during the incident is brought to a hospital having been shot numerous times.
Following her discharge from the hospital she approaches the Vinalian Reconciliation Council (VRC) which are attempting to more publicly oppose the regime. Vlad quickly rises through the ranks primarily as a result of her status as the daughter of the last democratically elected Vinalian president. The VRC organizes large public peaceful protests of the regime, and Vlad gains a large following as she is seen as the leader of the movement. On July 1st 1987, South Vinalia invades North Vinalia in the 12 Day War, starting a series of protests against the regime. As news of North Vinalian victory over South Vinalian forces begin arriving, Vlad states that they must now put the strongest pressure on the government of Artem. Vladyslava writes in the Velkarichka Independent on July 6th, an article stating that she is the Lady of the Ill Fated Spring, ending the article with “I am Vlad”.
Following this announcement, Vlad begins camping with protestors in the center of Velkarichka fearing she might be killed if she returns home, there she is met by Sokira. When the protestors are attacked on the 9th by police, international news crews present scenes of violence to worldwide audiences and the rest of the Vinalian public. Vlad is one such victim as she is brutally attacked by police, as news crews record the incident. The VRC publicly condemns the violence, and rallies around Vlad who remains in the center despite her injuries, giving an interview to Gaullican News Company Le Monde her blood covered face comes to represent the struggle of South Vinalian Democracy. The interview inspires many to protest throughout the country, and following the complete defeat of the South Vinalian army. Artem Kotenko announces his resignation as President, as the government disintegrates, the Vinalian Parliament elects Vladyslava to the presidency but selecting Avhust Meciar to lead a new government while she recovers, signing peace with the North Vinalian government soon after. Vladyslava is in a hospital when she learns of the news, and is ecstatic. She meets with international newscrews, where she states her desire to run for presidency as her father once did in the coming elections, and to establish a free democratic government.
Three months later Vlad is elected president of South Vinalia, running under her fathers old party. She begins the process of Vinalian reunification talking to newly elected North Vinalian Minister-President Oleksandr Artemovych in 1988, where they share their desire for a reunified Vinalia. The film ends as scenes of Vinalian reunification between 1988 and 1992 take place. In the final scene Vlad gives the iconic New Year speech on Vinalian reunification, as North and South Vinalia reunify following nearly 60 years of split.