Oh My Communist Youth
Thomas Lahusen & Alexander Gershtein.
Color & b/w. HD ,16:9; 19 minutes; Kyrgyz & Russian; English & Russian subtitles. Canada, April 2010.
A festival of Komsomol songs in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan.
Former members of the Communist Youth League (Komsomol) from Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Ingushetia, and Russia gather to sing their songs in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan in the Summer of 2009. Most of the participants were people in their fifties, sixties, and more. They remembered not only their youth, but also the spirit of belonging to a collective that united ethnicities and nationalities of the immense Soviet empire. Soviet nostalgia has increased because the new independent states were not always able to respond to the challenges of the post-Soviet world. This moving encounter of these Komsomol veterans, singing their Communist Youth songs in the mountains boarding beautiful Lake Issyk Kul, explains not only the post-Soviet present, but also its past, and their contradictions, especially when one of their members proposes to found a political party named ‘Komsomol,’ and this almost 20 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
4th Zerkalo International Film Festival, Ivanovo, Russia (May 2010).