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Date Location Tickets

Southeast US Premiere


Directed by Kirill Serebrennikov

Russia | 126 minutes | 2018

Russian with English subtitles

In Russian Jewish filmmaker Kirill Serebrennikov’s wild, whirling, and immersive ode to Leningrad’s 1980s rock scene, the bonding power of musicianship is explored by centering on the friendly rivalry — in love and music — of two real-life artists, Viktor Tsoi and Mike Naumenko. In luscious black-and-white, the film maneuvers through jam sessions, obsessive talk about western musicians, performances at the state-sanctioned Leningrad Rock Club, and ecstatic musical interludes featuring performances of Iggy Pop’s “The Passenger,” Talking Heads “Psycho Killer,” and Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day.” At its heart, this is a story of musicians who must contend with several layers of frustration — cultural, artistic, personal — and the creative means they use to resist the restrictions inflicted by the state. Part fond remembrance of the early-‘80s rock scene and part fever dream, Leto explores themes that still resonate in Putin’s Russia: What does it mean to make protest art under a restrictive and controlling regime? And how can people carry on a life in the midst of it? Leto (“Summer” in Russian) is an exhilarating exploration of freedom under restraint from director Kirill Serebrennikov, who had to finish the film while under house arrest by the Putin government.

Director Photo
Kirill Serebrennikov was born in Rostov-on-Don and is a Russian Jewish filmmaker and stage director. He is a recipient of more than two dozen international prizes, including awards at the Cannes Film Festival and Locarno Film Festival, among others.
Director Kirill Serebrennikov
Countries of Production Russia
Year of Presentation 2018
Language(s) Russian with English subtitles
Premiere Status Southeast US Premiere
Runtime 126 minutes
Principal Cast Roma Zver, Irina Starshenbaum, Teo Yoo, Philipp Avdeev, Evgeniy Serzin

Official Selection of the Cannes Film Festival

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