ABOUT THE FEATURE FILM
SOVIETOPIA is a feature length documentary film, pursuing leads to a Utopia in the hinterlands of the former Soviet Union.
All creation is transitory, nothing is enduring. To portray and emphasise evaporating time justifies the pleasure of its mesmerising gaze.
We journey on a quest to forgotten places scattered across remote regions of ex-USSR countries, tempting their rediscovery before nature takes them back into its womb. Framed by imaginary architecture - ranging from avant-garde Constructivism to neo-classical Socialist Realism to futuristic Soviet Brutalism - all carry the reflections of a deserted ideal. The adventure will escort to the end of the roads and further - to secret loopholes of time, far beyond the present we inhabit.
The past may be seen as a vision of the future, the future bears the past inside.
Through memories of individuals, closely attached to the locations captured, we delve into abandoned dreams of the future and reflect on the past - with the aim of cherishing the effects of hope and conviction, generating a vigorous force and implementing grand visions, ideas and fantasies that have moved mankind forward - but also to observe the consequences of delusion, mistaken evaluations of what is achievable and the post-apocalyptic traces that overly ambitious projects left behind. These socio-political phenomena are etched deeply into historic cycles of humanity.
The most powerful spheres of our life are fictional constructs but since we believe in them collectively they become a reality.
The poetic images are underlined by a dynamically intensifying atmospheric soundtrack created by the Russian band MEGAPOLIS - their album “из жизни планет“ is based on scores of Soviet films that were never realised.
Every profit is made by the expense of a loss, as every end bears a new beginning – thus the world remains a perpetual state of re-invention.
ABOUT THE VIRTUAL REALITY SERIES
BRIDGE TO SOVIETOPIA teleports to collapsing temples of progress, ruins of scientific triumph and fading Soviet grandeur - and lets the audience immerse in a LOST UTOPIA. Former creators, inhabiters and believers lead the way, while sharing astonishing MEMORIES and offering insights into peculiar retro-futuristic SCHEMES.
Whoever wishes to foresee the future must consult the past - for human events ever resemble those of preceding times. This arises from the fact that they are animated by the same passions, and thus they necessarily have the same results. (MACHIAVELLI)
VR’s playful dimension allows the spectator to explore another time-space and navigate inside history. The vivid experience of vanishing places and memory provokes an emphatic reaction towards HERITAGE and IDENTITY. The VR videos are marked by a constant flow of movement and have a strong sense of dynamic. Atmospheric SOUNDSCAPES - composed of field-recordings and electronic surfaces - increase the immersion of the overall experience.
We can learn from history, but we can also deceive ourselves when we selectively take evidence from the past to justify our made up minds. (MARGARET MACMILLAN)
The forgotten yet monumental symbolic remains are filmed all over UKRAINE in 360° - further shooting trips throughout the post-Soviet empire are planned, as well as an EXHIBITION with VR stations surrounded by large scale art installations. More about that soon...
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
We are in the process of fund raising. So far we have gratefully received both the script & the project development fund from the Austrian Film Institute.
Since the start of this project several scouting trips have been undertaken - to the region of Murmansk in the north of Russia, to Lake Baikal in Siberia, to Abkhazia, a partially recognised state on Georgia's territory and to Ukraine.
SOVIETOPIA & BRIDGE TO SOVIETOPIA are produced by kurt mayer film