- Valeriy Todorovskiy
- Anton Shagin, Oksana Akinshina
This spunky film set in 1955 Cold War Russia follows Mels, a communist party youth, as he discovers Moscow’s vibrant underground scene. After falling in love with hipster Polya, Mels soon embraces the hipster lifestyle, full of American jazz, fashion, and culture. Together Mels and Polya embark on a rebellious romp, hoping to leave a life of Soviet conformity behind, even when other members of their hipster group start to change their wild ways. “Director Valery Todorovsky keeps the film moving by balancing its more serious undercurrents with a liberating sense of fun, buoyed by musical numbers—there are musical numbers! —big, bold set-pieces around carnivals and jazz clubs and bopping through the streets.” (LA Times) A gorgeous curiosity, and the first Russian musical in more than 50 years, it won the 2009 Nika (the Russian Oscar) for best picture.