North Carolina Premiere. Nominated for the Palme D’Or and winner of the Best Soundtrack/Composer Award at Cannes 2018, Leto (translation: The Summer) has enjoyed a wildly successful festival tour since then with much critical acclaim.
Leningrad, one summer in the early eighties. Smuggling LP’s by Lou Reed and David Bowie, the underground rock scene is boiling ahead of the Perestroika. Mike and his beautiful wife Natasha meet with young Viktor Tsoï. Together with friends, they will change the destiny of rock’n’roll in the Soviet Union.
Director Kirill Serebrennikov was unable to accept our invitation to join us at Connect Beyond Festival, due to his house arrest in Russia. He wrote this statement of intent in 2017, before shooting the film (the stipulations of his house arrest do not allow him to make any further declarations): “My goal is to make a film about people who are happy, who are enjoying total artistic freedom despite the government’s oppression. They were making music, and could not envision any other mode of creation. Anything else would have gone against their nature. I can easily identify with them, understand their motivations, the obstacles in their way … Despite these heavily politicised times, we are creating theatre that is modern, antiestablishment, that can be seen as a movement. And most importantly, this movement is alive. We are breathing life into a culture that is unacceptable to the powers-in-place, to our government’s cultural directives, in exactly the same way that Leningrad in 1983 was neither the time nor the place for rock culture in the USSR. I will make this film both for and about a generation who views freedom as a personal choice, and the only possible one. My goal is to capture and highlight the true value of this freedom.”
Directed by: Kirill Serebrennikov
Produced by: Ilya Stewart, Murad Osmann, Pavel Buria, Mikhail Finogenov
Starring Teo Yoo, Roma Zver, & Irina Starshenbaum
Screening sponsored by Gunpowder & Sky
Russia | 128 min | B&W with color | Russian with English subtitles