Directed by Lauri Randla, comedy, 91 min, eng subtitles, 12+
Written by Lauri Randla
With Niklas Kouzmitšev, Nika Savolainen, Ülle Kaljuste, Tõnu Oja, Pääru Oja
Young Johannes, born prematurely in Soviet Estonia, is raised by eccentric grandparents whilst his single political activist mother seeks a better life in Finland. Set against the waning years of the USSR in ‘Leningrad 3’, an idealised Soviet town in Estonia, we follow on the footsteps of Johannes, a boy who prefers to escape reality through his own imagination. As the Lenins fall and the Barbie dolls take over, the crocodile Genas and the Moskvitches are forced to step aside, leaving the road to the West wide open. Meanwhile, the family must unite in their adventure to navigate these turbulent and insecure times...
Calling to mind Wolfgang Becker’s Good Bye, Lenin! (2003), Goodbye Soviet Union! is a bittersweet coming-of-age story which knows how to provoke a laugh even from the most difficult of places. As director Lauri Randla says, back then “living an idealised reality was the only possibility” to stay sane. Presented at Tallinn Black Nights 2020 First Feature Competition, Goodbye Soviet Union! was the audience’s favourite offering; a nostalgic but colourful image of a childhood in the last days of the Soviet Union.
Tallinn Black Nights IFF 2020 (Audience Award)
Estonian Film Awards 2021 (Best Screenplay)