I AM GAGARIN
Directed by Olga Darfy
2018, 60 minutes
In a deeply personal exploration of post-Soviet Russia, filmmaker Olga Darfy reflects on the Moscow rave scene and the friends from her youth that were at the forefront of the subculture.
In 1991, the collapse of the USSR effectively ushered a new era for Russia. Eager to find a means of self-expression given their new-found freedom, punks, rebels, avant-garde artists and squats join at the first Gagarin Party just weeks after the collapse of the USSR, marking the birth of a new nightlife subculture. With rare archival footage and photographs, Darfy recalls the momentous night celebrating with the heart and soul of the rave scene, Vanya Salmaksov.
But in 1998, Vanya mysteriously disappeared without a trace. 20 years later, Darfy embarks on an odyssey in search of Vanya, collecting testimonies along the way from friends, DJs, promoters, and avant-garde artists, including Oleg Kulik (The Dog Man), and Afrika (real name Sergei Bugaev). Filled with bittersweet nostalgia, I am Gagarin is an intimate portrait of a time and youth movement that could have only exist during the post-Soviet transition in Russia.
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