“No one likes snipers.” The real story of the revenge of a teacher who went to war with Russia
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Review of Focus on the military thriller “Sniper. White Warrior”, which will premiere on Independence Day. The film is based on the true story of teacher Nikolai Voronin.
The basis of the premiere Ukrainian action movie “Sniper. White Raven” (with a budget of UAH 30 million) is based on the real story of sniper Nikolai Voronin. In the film, the desire for revenge made the pacifist, mathematics teacher Voronenko (that's the name of the hero in the film) turn into an experienced sniper with the call sign “Raven” – a real thunderstorm for the Russian invaders. A dynamic film shot on a grand scale and with all modern technological innovations. “Raven” is a religious fighter, he prays before each of his shots, which smashes the enemy and personifies the spirit of his native land, who stood up to defend the Motherland. Focus shares his impressions about the prototype of the protagonist, who was at the closed premiere and from the picture itself.
The organizers immediately stunned at a briefing at the Oscar cinema in Gulliver after the premiere of our military action movie about a sniper with the call sign “Voron”, announcing from the stage: “And now you will meet with the prototype of the main character – this is Nikolai Voronin.” Imagine that after the premiere of “Rambo. First Blood” they say to you: “And now Rambo himself will take the stage.” And a guy comes out. Not the actor who played him, but the original. Himself. The audience was shocked.
Prototype of the main character
A well-built man of average height in his forties in military uniform stepped up onto the stage. He had a gracious smile and a slight stubble on his face. He replied that his wife was not killed like in the movie. But many of his close people died.
Later it turned out that the personality of Nikolai Voronin is quite well known. There were dozens of interviews with him in the media, including in Focus.
At first he had pro-Putin convictions, then they became pro-Ukrainian. Nikolay was a fan of the Russian writer and ecologist Vladimir Megre (“The Ringing Cedars of Russia”), a pacifist and eco-settler near Gorlovka, where he lived in Nora (he dug and equipped a dugout) with his third wife – he ate berries. Prior to that, there were two spouses and two sons. In Kiev-Mohyla, he received three specialties. He taught mathematics in Gorlovka – in a transport vocational school, where there were difficult teenagers. Twenty years ago, he had surgery to remove a cancerous tumor in the kidney, from where it metastasized to the liver. Voronin did not accept the Orange Revolution, but after recovering from cancer, he went to the Chernobyl (!) zone. In 2014, he went to Gorlovka to support pro-Russian rallies, but he saw criminal rabble and Russian military instructors at them, who taught him to beat with a stick in the throat. “Why? These are people? Can you also be killed?” Nikolay asked knowingly, because he was an aikido instructor. – “Because these are not people, but enemies.” Then he went to a pro-Ukrainian rally, where he met people in embroidered shirts, with balloons, with children who prayed and – took their side. “For three days I was a separatist,” he likes to repeat. Then he signed up for the Donbass battalion, since the Right Sector did not take him seriously. Then he joined the paratroopers and became a Donetsk “cyborg.” But he managed to get them too – his colleagues confiscated Nikolai’s mobile phone so that he would not leak photos of their positions to Facebook: Nikolai generously “illustrated” his stories about the battles for the airport with pictures on social networks. Showing his stubborn character, Nikolay, in response, held out for five days alone on the third floor of the Donetsk airport, imitating the defense of several people there.
In 2015, he brought a trophy working scoreboard from Donetsk airport – to Borispolsky, in the same place, in Bori At the Polish airport in 2019, he was starving against another candidate Zelensky – he did not like the future president with harsh statements.
Yes, I forgot to say that he is also a writer and a bard – and with guitar concerts he traveled around Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Lithuania. But he performed in not quite ordinary places: orphanages, places of detention, on the streets, in trains … His Kyiv friends from Canada described this native of the Kherson region as follows: “He is a man without a roof and without borders, he can do anything, and from him everything can be expected.”
As you understand, Nikolai's biography is enough for ten films. But the director-debutant Marian Bushan did not immediately “enter” into this. When Voronin came into his field of vision on social networks, he decided, of course, to make a film about him. However, after Bushan met with Voronin several times, the director realized that he was unable to “embrace the immensity”.
The release of the film “Sniper. White Raven” contains his comment: “Since 2014, I have been looking for a military story about a volunteer who defended Ukraine in the fight against Russian invaders. I came across the story of Nikolai Voronin, an eco-settler from Gorlovka, who in the Donbass, who became a sniper.At first, I suggested to Nikolai to make a film based on his story: we met many times, he read the script, added comments – and subsequently I decided to abandon the biography film and make a genre movie. events that did not exist in reality, but which could exist in the realities of the war in Donbass”.
Not only Bushan and Voronin participated in writing the script. Their work was edited by the well-known script doctor, the guru of the world screenwriting art, American Linda Seger. She has more than 2,000 scenario consultations behind her shoulders. Therefore, if we talk about the connection between the biography of Voronin and the main character of the tape – Voronenko, then everything is greatly simplified here, but it turned out to be a biting, clear, dynamic film – with a clear core line.
What is the film “Sniper. White Raven” about “
So, according to the plot, there is a certain handsome Nikolai Voronenko, a mathematics teacher (actor Pavel Aldoshin). A pacifist and eco-settler, he lives in Nora on a farm, in the outskirts. Inside the dugout is a dynamo invented by him, windmills. With a certain amount of squeamishness, local television even visited the eccentrics.
At school, Nikolai had a conflict with a difficult teenager – a hooligan Ivan: instead of answering a mathematical problem, he drew a penis on the blackboard (Focus Voronin said that in reality this unfortunate student urinated under the desk).
Voronenko is wearing an absurd knitted jacket. He rides on a bright yellow bicycle. In general, a local white crow.
One day, on TV at school, he sees news that Russian troops have occupied Crimea and there is an aggravation in the Donbass. He abruptly grabs the bike and, already near the Nora, gets into a fight with two Russian military men who are molesting his wife (Marina Koshkina). The wife with a stone throws herself at an armored car and dies from enemy bullets – all this can be seen in the video. The hole is on fire.
Nikolay ends up in the Armed Forces of Ukraine with a thirst for revenge. He will be able to break the sarcastic attitude towards him as a nerd, and gradually earn credibility as a sniper.
Before each shot, he prays: “Point my hand, God, let me be smarter with a mustache” – which can also be seen in the trailer. He is a religious sniper. And he believes that he is driven by Providence. These are all real traits of Voronin's character.
We will not tell the military adventures of a sniper, but the film ends spectacularly: Raven lies in camouflage in winter, looking into the scope, it is snowing lightly, the inscription on the screen: “On February 24, the Russian Federation crossed the border of Ukraine.”
Cons of the picture
A lot of stamps. Since the Russians – it means in an armored car with an accordion. Yes, they would rather listen to Morgenstern's rap.
It is unlikely that anyone's wife would rush after beating her with her husband – with a stone on the guns of bandits, when the bastards were just about to get out. For what? To die from a bullet and prove that they are nits?
Traditionally, for Ukrainian patriotic cinema, all the good ones speak Ukrainian, all the bad ones speak Russian.
The main character is brightly displayed, but all other characters of the tape are shown in dotted lines. The potential of such powerful Ukrainian stars as Marina Koshkina (“Blindfolded”) and Roman Yasinovsky (“Cyborgs”) is barely revealed.
But the film has many more pluses
The most beautiful panoramic shots: juicy, bright, breathtaking. Wonders of disguise are shown: snipers of the same color with fields of wheat, meadows, forests, with beige-yellow leaves. Russian snipers, of course, also disguised themselves, but – under a dump. Their sniper complained, “It stinks in here.” Nevertheless, this was filmed masterfully.
The commander of the sniper group, mentor and teacher of Voronenko, actor Andrey Mostrenko, played excellently. His character is courageous, direct, decent. In the history of his relationship with Raven, there is real drama. Actor Pavel Aldoshin did an excellent job with the main role (by the way, he uses the acquired military skills on the set for their intended purpose – he is now fighting in the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine).
Let's highlight this episode. Raven draws attention to the photograph of the commander's family.
– Is your family in the photo? Nikolai asks cautiously.
The commander saw a figurine of a female angel at Raven's, which his wife had given to Nikolai before his death.
– Amulet? the commander asked.
– This is my family.
This poignant answer reminded me of a dialogue from the cult Soviet crime comedy “Gentlemen of Fortune” (1971).
When Khmyr, a recidivist thief, saw a figure skating girl through the window, he noticed that he often went to figure skating performances with his wife in the wild.
– And where is your wife? Died? – sympathetically asked the director of the kindergarten Troshkin, who pretended to be the leader of the gang.
– I died, Khmyr answered after a pause.
The merits of the “White Raven” include the fact that the main character, due to his transformation from a pacifist and eco-settler into a sniper, becomes closer to the finale of the tape as the personification of the spirit of his native land. His ridiculous knitted sweater a la hippie turned into a camouflage sniper cape – a cool detail.
Note the excellent work of cameraman Konstantin Ponomarev. The soundtrack of the film by composer Nadezhda Odesyuk is also accurate: from lyrical notes to tense melodies that accompanied the combat duels of snipers. Director Marian Bushan's feature debut turned out to be high-quality, spectacular, and timely.
The continuation of “White Raven – 2” is clearly suggesting – Voronenko's adventures after February 24 2022.