Perhaps if you understand Russian this film makes some degree of sense (I doubt it), but the subtitled English version will leave your head spinning. The plot--as far as I can make out--involves three kids (13 year olds) who are chosen (based on their aptitude) to become junior cosmonauts aboard a spaceship. Their back-stories are quite murky, but what little is shown about their interaction with parents is bizarre.
Before you know it, they're in space and the only adult on board has some unexplained sickness and is quarantined. Of course this leads ground control to make one of the 13 year olds "commander" of the mission, with the other two kids as his crew?!? This is played very straight and melodramatic...the gravity of the position (pun intended) weighs heavily on the kid who is portrayed as a cross between Mr Spock and Stalin.
The film is riddled with flashbacks that make little to no sense...go-kart races, running through fields, etc. The subtitles are so poorly mistranslated that you begin to wonder if they're messing with you (incompetence is the most likely culprit). I've seen plenty of Commie Sci-Fi (both Soviet and East German), but this film stands alone in its abject oddity. It's almost as if they attempted to make a kid's version of Solaris whilst retaining all the dark, bizarre elements but on a limited budget. Oh, and there's dancing. And it is glorious.
In summary, this is a great film that any fan of Psychotronic cinema should seek out. It is not "good" in any sense of the word, but it is really entertaining and fascinating. If nothing else, that such a kid's film exists, is proof-positive of the dystopian nature of Soviet life, art, and entertainment.
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