Sometimes the story about a film’s release almost overshadows the film itself. Often, it involves some sort of controversy with a filmmaker, actor, or studio, and people tend to forget the actual content of the film. However, in the case of “Leto,” the story surrounding the film’s release not only adds to the intrigue of the film, but it sheds light on the actual content of the musical drama.
“Leto” tells the true story of Viktor Tsoi, a Russian musician in the 1980s that would go on to form one of the most influential bands in the country’s history, Kino. Told using beautiful black and white imagery, Tsoi’s story not only gives a glimpse into the Soviet-era politics and culture, but also draws parallels to what’s going on today.
And in honor of the film’s impending release, we’re proud to be able to show an exclusive clip from the film, which highlights Tsoi’s musical ability, as performed by actor Teo Yoo. Sure, unless you’re a fan of Russian rock music, you may not be familiar with the music being played, but there’s no denying that you’ll end up having the song stuck in your head all day.
But as mentioned, the story surrounding the release of “Leto” is almost as interesting as the film, itself. Director Kirill Serebrennikov (“The Student”) filmed his latest feature under some intense, and difficult, circumstances. During the filming of “Leto,” the filmmaker was sentenced to house arrest for an embezzlement case. However, many allege that the charges and the sentence were due to Serebrennikov’s political stance, as a critic of the current Russian administration. He finished the post-production and reshoots (via notes and previous rehearsals) while staying in his home.
The film stars Teo Yoo, Irina Starshenbaum, and Roman Bilyk. As mentioned, “Leto” is directed by Serebrennikov, based on a script by Mikhail Idov, Lili Idova, Ivan Kapitonov, Natlya Naumenko, and Serebrennikov.
“Leto” arrives in select theaters this Friday and will begin expanding later this month.
Here’s the synopsis:
Avant-garde Russian filmmaker Kirill Serebrennikov (The Student) returns to the big-screen with a tribute to the early years of Russian rock. Leningrad, in the summer, early eighties. Smuggling LP’s by Lou Reed and David Bowie, the underground rock scene is boiling ahead of Perestroika. Mike and his beautiful wife Natasha meet with young Viktor Tsoï. Together with friends, they will change the trajectory of rock n’roll music in the Soviet Union.