Veliky Novgorod, 1987. Olga makes a stand against her teacher’s authoritarian teaching methods, Andrey is propagating an ‘anti-death pill’ in a jam jar and Katya observes her father distilling booze illegally behind closed doors. These three young schoolmates are all members of the ‘Vladimir Illyich Lenin’ Young Pioneer organisation and are full of childlike visions of the future.
Over twenty-five years on, all three have now established themselves professionally in Moscow, and yet they have not really found their bearings in present day Russia. Olga suffers from panic attacks, Andrey tries to fill his inner void with computer games, and Katya is pursued by unsettling dreams. Moving poetically between past and present, Natalia Kudryashova shows the gulf between the visions of yesteryear and today’s reality which the dissolution of the Soviet Union has left behind for its final generation of Young Pioneers. Impressively dense and atmospheric images describe their attitudes towards life. Derelict concrete buildings, imposing and Kafkaesque, give shape to the oppressive shadows of their original dreams that now threaten to engulf them.