Nov 16 2012

Russian Film ‘Generation P’ Explores Post-Soviet Capitalism Through Surreal World of Advertising

Russian President Vladmir Putin, in his third term, has overseen a series of new laws designed to criminalize dissent and raise suspicion of foreigners. The latest expansion of a treason law under the guise of ‘national security’ has caused serious concern among civil society and human rights groups. Legal analysts have concluded that the Russian security apparatus now needs no actual proof of breaches of national security in order to imprison individual suspects.

To many, the new Russia is reminiscent of the old Russia, harkening back to the security apparatus of the Soviet-era KGB. It may seem surprising then that the just this past year, an ambitious film about the period immediately following the fall of the Soviet Union aired on Russian television right in the middle of the Presidential elections in March. Generation P, is a critique not just of the post-Soviet capitalist gold rush of the early 90s, it is also an indictment of today’s political system in Russia under President Putin.

Named for the Pepsi generation of Russians, whose only access to Western products was Pepsi cola, the film is directed, produced, and co-written by Russian-born, American raised filmmaker, Victor Ginzburg. Generation P is based on the book by the cult novelist Victor Pelevin and focuses on a poet named Babylen Tatarsky whose life dramatically changes when he goes from running a street kiosk to becoming a high-level advertizing executive who designs ad campaigns for Western products in the Russian market.

In attempting to better discover his creativity, Tatarsky uses drug induced hallucinations to channel the spirit of Che Guevara, and ultimately finds himself in the world of political advertising, working to elect what ends up being a “virtual President.”

Generation P took years to make, becoming an instant hit inside Russia, and earning distinctions and accolades at film festivals across North America. Now, the film debuts theatrically in LA and New York.

GUEST: Victor Ginzburg, director, producer and co-writer of Generation P

Generation P opens on November 16, 2012 at the Sundance Sunset Cinema, 8000 West Sunset Boulevard , Los Angeles , CA 90046.

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