Dominik Spritzendorfer & Elena Tikhonova
Austria | 2013 | 89 min
Languages : Russian, English
Subtitles : English, French
Focusing on Léon Thérémine and the invention of his first instrument to the pieces stolen by KGB agents in a USSR where they could not be acquired legally, this film celebrates the Soviet electronic age and the passion it still sparks today. Featuring rich and strange images from the archives, musicians and collectors, this delightful retrospective goes beyond simple nostalgia.
“Communism is Soviet power plus the electrification of the whole country.” Elektro Moskva begins, and not without a certain irony, with this quote from Lenin and images alluding to the origins of the new regime; science and technological change have become the new gods. From Leon Theremin and the invention of his first instrument, to the pieces stolen by KGB agents in a USSR where they could not be acquired legally, this film is a celebration of the Soviet electronic age and the passion it still sparks today. Created from rich images from the archives and whimsical contemporary characters – collectors, musicians and scientists, this delightful film goes beyond simple nostalgia. Perhaps Benzo describes it best in the film: “What I like about Soviet instruments is that they are imperfect. [...] But at the same time the instrument tells you: ‘Hey, I am messed up. Probably you are too. Let's try it together.’ On a western device, you push a button and get a result. On Soviet instruments, you push a button and get something.”