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Monday, February 24, 2014

Trailer for Ukraine’s Uprising Stars Will Smith and Sylvester Stallone

An ode to the courage of Ukrainian protesters posted on YouTube this month mixed footage of the demonstrations in Kiev with words from Hollywood movies.

Looking for a way to pay tribute to the courage of protesters in Kiev, who refused to be dislodged from Independence Square over the past three months despite violent attacks from the security forces, a Ukrainian video blogger found the words he needed in dubbed versions of two Hollywood action movies.

As Kevin Rothrock reported in a post on the video for Global Voices, the result is a sort of trailer for the uprising â€" mixing footage of the demonstrators with inspirational speeches on the importance of overcoming fear first spoken by Will Smith, in “After Earth,” and Sylvester Stallone, in “Rocky Balboa.” It was shared at the height of last week’s violence by Pavel Durov, the founder of the most prominent Russian social network, VKontakte.

The blogger, Alexander Makedonskiy, first posted his ode to the protesters, “Story of a Great Nation,” on YouTube three weeks ago. As it neared 200,000 views, after the endorsement by Mr. Durov, he released a version with English subtitles.

The video also borrowed from striking footage of martyred protesters and uneasy police officers made by Ukrainian filmmakers who have been documenting the occupation of central Kiev from its first moments. Some of the footage was drawn from the YouTube channel of a group of activist filmmakers working on a project they call Babylon ’13, which is partly supported by an Indiegogo campaign.

That group’s own tribute to the protest movement, “The Testament,” was released on Sunday, after the fleeing of the country’s president and memorial services for protesters killed last week.

A tribute to Ukraine’s protest movement from a group of activist filmmakers.

Follow Robert Mackey on Twitter @robertmackey.