Our regular critic. Journalist, writer, author. Works mostly from Central and Eastern Europe and Russia.
USSR: Vivid memories of home-made psychedelic drugs and Soviet revolutionary times are brought to life in Soviet Hippies.

Orginal title: Nõukogude hipid)
Director: Terje Toomistu
Producer: Liis Lepik
Country: Estonia, Germany, Finland

«We don’t know where we are going, but we know exactly what we are running away from,» a female voice-over says over grainy coloured images of a group of disheveled young people walking across an indistinct landscape in the opening shots of Terje Toomistu’s timely documentary Soviet Hippies.

At a time of increasing political polarisation between Russia, Europe, and the West, the notion of Russians as some kind of different species, warlike, aggressive, corrupt, and separate, is popular in the media. What many with no direct experience of Russia themselves fail to understand is the extent to which dissidence – with a small «d» – remains widespread in Russia to this day and that is often exemplified in youth musical and fashion sub-groups.


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