classified U S

Melodia! Musicals from Russia and the Caucasus


Please note: This was screened in Jan 2020

Gerbert Rappaport
Olga Zabotkina, Vladimir Vasilyev, Marina Khotuntseva
92 mins, Subtitled, 1983, Russian

A unique and wonderfully upbeat musical comedy adapted for the screen in 1963, Cheryomushki is set in the suburbs of Soviet Moscow, where young couples find dream homes provided by the state.

Literally translating to ‘cherry town’, the film explores the idea promoted among the mid-20th century Soviet population of ’the Soviet dream’ – an idea that, in the 1950s, arrived in the form of shiny new, separate apartment homes in identical blocks that offered a chance at a fresh start. A group of young, happy Muscovites are excited about being rehoused in the smart new high rise estate, but find the incompetent and greedy officialdom have their own wicked plans for what they want to do with these flats. Their happily-ever-afters might be harder to reach than they thought...

Full of visual and musical vibrancy with a score bursting with energy and catchy tunes, this is a super kitsch, all-singing-all-dancing glimpse into life in the U.S.S.R in the 1950s sprinkled with a bit of good ol’ fashioned romance. A genuine blast!

With thanks to the Kino Klassika Foundation who create programs of restorations, publications, art commissions and events to spotlight Russian language cinema.Screening as part of BFI Musicals! The Greatest Show on Screen, a UK-wide film season supported by National Lottery, BFI Film Audience Network and ICO.

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This will be screened on a rare 35mm print on loan from the Russian State Archive.