This screening is supported by the Embassy of Russia.
‘Stilyagi (‘Hipsters’, in Russian) is a cult Russian musical comedy, depicting a unique, interesting, clandestine sub-culture that existed in the Soviet Union in the 1950's.
At the height of the Cold War in the Soviet Union, the titular ‘Stilyagi’ were a bunch of Western-oriented hipsters who loved jazz, dances like the Swing and Boogie Woogie, exhibited questionable morals, and enjoyed dressing with flamboyant style.
The film will take the viewer on an epic joy ride through 1955 Moscow, two years after Stalin's death.
There are certain ‘West Side Story’ touches in the tale, which centres around the ‘war’ between a group of young Muscovite Komsomol (Communist youth) and a group of Stilyagi (Hipster youth), who clash whenever they meet, on the streets of Moscow.
At the beginning of the film, Mels (Americanized name) belongs to the former group, and is singled out by leader Katya for her personal attention. But when he meets Polly of the Stilyagi group, he falls in love, and decides to change his personality to please her, including clothes, shoes, hairstyle. He even learns to dance from his Jewish friend Bob, listen to jazz, play the saxophone. All considered controversial at that time.
One of the highlights of the film is its music from the top Russian rock bands of the 1980’s and 1990’s. In fact, there have been musical concerts held in Europe and America, featuring only the songs of the film!
The film was screened at top festivals like the Toronto International Film Festival. It won more than 16 awards, including the top Russian National and Film Critic awards, and Audience Awards at many festivals in Europe and America.
We thank the Embassy of Russia, for supporting the film event.