Documentary "Soviet Hippies"User's  Liis Lepik project in the category Film & Photo

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Many people from Estonia and elsewhere in the world do not know much about the distinctive hippie movement that took place in the Soviet Union. We need Your support in order to create the film that also speaks to an international audience and brings out this extraordinary and longest lasting hippie movement in the world. You can be part of the system that believes in peace, love and freedom! We are already very grateful to you! :)

We started our research about the hippie movement four years ago. As a result an exhibition “Soviet hippies: the psychedelic underground of 1970s Estonia” was curated by Kiwa and Terje Toomistu, including the video production by Kultusfilm. It was shown at the Estonian National Museum in 2013 and visited by 12 000 people. Later on the exhibition has travelled to Sweden – Malmö and Uppsala – and across the ocean to Canada, Vancouver. As this is a project that has taken a long time to research and has an international appeal with shooting locations in different countries, it is hard to manage with only the financial means from Estonian funds.

The story
The hippie movement that captivated hundreds of thousands of young people in the West had a profound impact on the other side of the Iron Curtain. Within the Soviet system, a colorful crowd of artists, musicians, freaks, vagabonds and other long-haired drop-outs created their own underground system that connected those who believed in peace, love and freedom for their bodies and souls.

More than 40 years later, a group of eccentric hippies from Estonia take a road trip to Moscow where the hippies still gather annually on the 1st of June to commemorate a tragic event in 1971, when thousands of Soviet hippies were arrested by the KGB. The protagonists ride their minibus to the country which is no longer their own and tends to resemble more and more that of the Soviet Union, while it still holds the memory of the best days of their life and a long history of the pacifist movement in Russia.

The road trip of the main protagonists along with the stories of the Sistema hippies from Ukraine, Petersburg and elsewhere form a journey through time and dimensions. Observational documentary shifts between historical storytelling in a creative combination of interviews, photographs, Soviet animations and rich archive footage, drawing the viewer into the psychedelic underground world in which these people lived.

Join us
We are wild. We are witty. We celebrate grotesque. We celebrate beauty. We hold on to cross-cultural and cross-generational communication. We love flowers, rock'n'roll and dreaming.

In the film about the Soviet hippies, we choose to break the rules and cross the barriers, rather than get stuck in any reserved and conventional way of story-telling. We believe that our relationship to the reality has to be always questioned, challenged and re-evaluated, while the values of peace and love are beyond questioning. We believe in film as a medium that leads to a variety of landscapes and states of consciousness, giving you a simultaneous joy of participation and the excitement of being on an unforeseen journey. We take you on a ride through time and space across the juxtaposed landscape of the Soviet and the endless corridors of creative minds.

If you're a wanderer, a dreamer, a creative soul who rather opens the doors than closes them, who seeks for the unknown rather than sticks to the good old, if you question the political history that you've been told about and you wonder why The Beatles is still such a hit in your head and why Putin is so weird, if you believe in peace as the ultimate way of policy making and social love as the basis of everything, and you cry - why can't they? Why is all the war and violence still out there? Then you're most certainly one of us.

Come and join our journey to fight against violence through peaceful means, celebrate creativity, hold on to our dreams and stand out for freedom of our bodies and souls, weather in thought or action, film or music, dreams or memories. Let's.

Aili Vint

The film crew: Terje Toomistu (director), Liis Lepik (producer), Juliane Fürst, PhD (co-producer, research consultant), Taavi Arus (cinematographer), Indrek Soe (sound recordist), KIWA (artist), Priit Tender (animator), Martin Männik (editor), Marika Alver (archive work coordinator), Irina Gordeyeva, PhD (research consultant), Martin Pedanik (grafic disainer), Karin Kahre (public relations) and many others. Read more about the team here

Watch news on the film and the road trip to Moscow on Facebook!

The film is 90 minutes long and is produced by Kultusfilm and Kinomaton. The estimated date of the premiere is in spring 2016.

The project is developed at the international schooling program Documentary Campus Masterschool 2014. The Film is also supported by Estonian Film Institute, Estonian Cultural Endowment, Estonian Gambling Tax Council, Kinotehnik, JAA Design, Wolfprint 3D and Schilling.

  • 151 backers
  • 8099€raised of 8000€ goal

Successful project

This project was funded on 11.Jul.2015