A popular and successful comedian challenges the censors in the crumbling USSR
Screenplay and director: Michael Idov RU/LV/CZ 2019, German premiere, Russian with English subtitles Production: Metrafilms, Sirena Film, Tasse Film Producers: Aija Berzina, Artyom Vasilev Coproducers: Alise Gelze, Artemio Benki International distribution: m-appeal, Berlin Cinematography: Alexander Surkala Editing: Michal Lánsky Cast: Aleksey Agronovich, Yuri Kolokolnikov, Alisa Khazanova, Pavel Ilyin, Artem Volobuev
1984. Boris, a Russian-Jewish stand-up comedian, feels limited not only by the regime and the censors, but also by his own insecurity. The combination of fame and the lack of personal freedom drives him crazy, and his family suffers from his quick temper. One night, when the KGB gets him out of bed for a private performance for a cosmonaut, he realizes how little control he has over his own life. When he is forced to perform at the birthday party of an elite politician’s wife, he blows his top and takes revenge. Set in the 1980s, the film shows a country in which power and decadence were not far apart and the collapse of the USSR was imminent
Transilvania International Film Festival Cluj 2019 San Francisco Jewish Film Festival 2019 Art Film Fest 2019 (Blue Angel Prize for the Best Male Performance for Aleksey Agronovich)
Michael Idov was born in Latvia in 1976 and moved to the US in 1992. Prior to directing his first film THE HUMORIST, he mostly wrote novels and screenplays, including for Kirill Serebrennikov’s film LETO, which was screened in the competition at the Festival de Cannes, and the Russian box office hit SOULLESS (RU 2015). He has been living in Berlin for a few years.