Section: It's all go in the East

Artists of Perestroika

Artists of Perestroika

Masha Novikova
Netherlands, 2021, 74 Min

Nonchalant Dadaism. "The best fish is the sausage" sang a Russian group in the late 1980s. Memories of a time full of curiosity and the joy of experimentation, anti-authoritarian playfulness and a desire for an unbounded togetherness, as experienced on a Dutch-Russian underground cultural exchange during the perestroika era.

1988/89, Perestroika: In Amsterdam the alternative agency “Circ” organises encounters between Russian and Dutch rock, wave, ska and punk musicians, as well as theatre groups and Gesamtkunstwerk artists. Flashbacks, Super 8 takes and memories that, for everyone involved, were associated with a feeling of freedom, euphoria and also, it must be said, nonsense. Not to mention a great desire to overcome the boundaries between East and West. A feeling that has long since evaporated; not only in Russia. A look back at small freedoms and high hopes, at the fall of the Berlin Wall and lots of good music, and at the desire to engage with one another, be it in joint concerts or Jimmy Carter's fits of laughter during a Yeltsin speech. Director Masha Novikova left the Soviet Union in 1988 and has lived in the Netherlands ever since. She titled the last chapter of her documentary, the illusion-free conclusion of this pop art fairy tale, “And nothing turned out” ...

Masha Novikova
Georgij Tchiriaev, Masha Novikova
Masha Novikova, Srdjan Fink
Jeroen Goeijers
Oksana Larina

Masha Novikova -

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