23 September 2016
Finally the official video of Jamala’s Eurovision 2016 winning song, 1944. It’s still perplexing that so many loved this song that it could win. I had to resist the compulsion to quit the video and yell “shut the hell up” so I could respectfully watch it until completion. Without the live, emotional performance from Jamala, it’s even more horrible than I remember. 1944 will probably become one of the most polarising Eurovision winners ever.
The video itself, if it was made before ESC, would the song have been banned? Clearly the political connotations are much stronger when you see these images. This song could easily be called 2014 and be just as relevant. That the title eventually became 1944 to pinpoint an event in history was probably a tactic to obfuscate any connection to a current political situation. Previously Jamala has referred to the song as Souls and, presuming he’s not playfully taunting Russia, Ukraine’s president said its original Tartar title was Crimea Is Ours.
It’s important to note that any criticism of the song is no disrespect to the artist Jamala, or that she was a fair winner. Technically she was brilliant and, with the new voting system, is probably the fairest winner in ESC since the juries were returned. More about that in my final review of Stockholm 2016.