September Movie Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

It may seem to some that Ukrainian cinema began to experience its rise in 2022–2023. But if you dig deeper, it turns out that almost all the films that are coming out now appeared as an idea at least four years ago – or even a long time ago. The complex cycle of Ukrainian film production does not make the work of creators much easier, but at the same time it does not particularly constrain their hands. That is why we get movies for every taste, and not exclusively something “patriotic” that they like to indulge in in not so democratic countries. “September” stands out clearly even against the backdrop of such diversity. It stands out so much that it is impossible to describe the film in simple words. But we will try in our review.

Pros: there is simply no other film like it… Cons: …but that doesn’t mean it’s a good film

“September” / September

Genre: absurd comedy
Director Georgy Fomin
Starring Nikolay Veresen, Les Poderevyansky, Mikhail Zhonin, Oleg Primogenov, Roman Matsuta
Premiere cinemas
Release year 2023
IMDb website

The plot begins with the death of actor Nikolai Veresnya right on the set. He played the role of Ivan the Terrible, because the devils are trying to drag him to hell. For them, Veresen is a way to get into the world of the living. But the actor has his own plans and secrets, and new, even more mysterious forces are gradually beginning to wedge themselves into the story itself.

Have you read the opening? Great, now you can safely forget her. Indeed, even in this description there are several inaccuracies and distortions of facts. The problem is that the language of the film “September” cannot be described in ordinary text. Here we have the madness of cinema in its purest form – with all the ensuing pros and cons.

When watching “September” you feel as if you are being shown something secret. Something that no one should have seen, but it still broke out into the public domain. This impression is partly due to the general budget nature of everything. In the acting, scenery, graphics, editing and sound, it’s not even cheapness that screams, but poverty. Or asceticism, if you look at what is happening from a different angle.

But no, “September” is complete with every phrase. None of them add up to a single whole, but each of them individually has its own meaning and its place in the overall scenario canvas. Therefore, when watching, it may seem that you are going crazy, that everything you see is just an obsession during the summer heat. And the more ironic are the emotions that remain after viewing.

“September” does not criticize or fall into satire, but the film itself is imbued with such caustic statements about Ukrainian culture of the 2010s that after thinking about everything, a noticeable unpleasant aftertaste arises inside.

In a country around which there are only enemies, the heroes are no longer trying to just be themselves – they go beyond themselves, turn into the context of the environment and surpass it, creating their own history.

A story that will go nowhere – but it shouldn’t. David Lynch once gave the world something similar with his “Inland Empire,” which turned out to be just a way to touch the mysteries of transcendental meditation. “September” evokes similar emotions, but imposes them on Ukrainian culture. Real modern Ukrainian culture, which lives in the gateways and drunken minds of representatives of the middle and not so class.

And it may seem that there is some meaning to all this. That all the pompous phrases about life and death, diluted with thoughts about bribes and heavy silence, should ultimately lead to something. But no, put such thoughts aside. Here we have no Nolan, no Villeneuve, and no Chazelle. The madness of “September” in itself means nothing.

Only it is so closely connected with modern Ukrainian contexts that to some extent I want to analyze and think about the film further. True, there is a high risk of going crazy. And something tells me that the film crew would hardly approve of such an approach. Here, high creators created pure art and did not force it into the framework of human perception. So literally everything depends on you.

The film’s director, Georgy Fomin (who preferred to be called Zhora) died in 2021. So, even if we wanted to, we will never know what he wanted to say with his film. And this fact alone distances “September” from classical mass cinema.

After all, how can you evaluate a film in which the editing is terrible and the visuals are chaotic, and the sound seems to want to rape your ears? The sound tracks here are superimposed on one another, and it is sometimes completely impossible to make out anything intelligible in such a “symphony”.

From a technical point of view, “September” is a nightmare for any person in any way connected with cinema.

But the film doesn’t seem to be trying to please anyone. This is theater and reality in one work, statement and silence in one script, life and death in one work of art. Which will pass by almost all people, but that is its meaning. The shadow phantom of Ukrainian modernity does not particularly want to be talked about. But here we gave him two pages of text in 10 font. Perhaps there was some meaning to this.


The onset of September means the gradual fading of nature and the inevitable approach of cold weather. The release of “September” can also be considered a sign or symbol. For example, a melancholy reflection on modern Ukrainian culture. Which is as trashy as it is meaningless – but in its trashiness and meaninglessness it manages to find its value.

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