16-year-old Ivan is secretary for ideology at the Stalingrad regional Komsomol association. He feels grown up and takes his business seriously. For the time being he is tasked with looking after a communist Chinese student in Moscow and showing him how the organisation and its rituals work. Are there bigger tasks waiting for him?
Ivan shows his protégé the ritual of a dignified funeral for a comrade. At the funeral feast that follows he hopes in vain for a photo with Gennady Zyuganov, the leader of the Communist Party of Russia. At school Ivan is accepted in his grey uniform, his classmates smile at him in a friendly manner. English lessons are clearly difficult for him. Yet when laying flowers at Stalin's grave he is completely in his element again. This is followed by the organisation's training sessions and the tricky establishment of contact with comrades in the Donbass, where Ivan would also like to go for ideological work. Interestingly, Ivan was previously with “Naši”, the so-called “Putin Youth” organisation, but as an atheist had problems with its orthodox religious orientation. This documentary film by Yuri Pivovarov, made at the Marina Razbezhkina Film School, offers insight into a parallel world that many believed had already been overcome, in which long-familiar models of conduct, and society as whole, live on. MM