t’s 1955. Stalin has been dead two years, but not even Khrushchev’s thaw can prevent Komsomol shock troops hounding fans of American rhythms and fashion. The student Mels (Marx-Engels-Lenin-Stalin) finds himself part of their crowd when he falls in love with Polya. He joins a gang of hipsters who meet up on Moscow’s “Broadway” (Gorky/Tverskaya street), then gets himself an eccentric outfit and is soon a hit on the dance floor as well. He is expelled from college and finds himself a substitute – the saxophone. He now goes by the name Mel and has the lovely Polya by his side… Retro-musical scenes alternate with sequences in which the director uses witty hyperbole to present the state of mind and lifestyle of various levels of the Soviet population. The young people’s craving for forbidden fruit will leave both an intoxicating and bitter taste in their mouths. Mel’s mentor Fred goes back to being Fyodor as soon as his high-ranking father fixes him up with a job in America. But he comes back to Moscow with bad news: they’re wearing different fashions over there and there’s no sign of any rebellion… —tiff.com
Fun Russian musical about kids who rebel by adopting what they think is a hip American lifestyle of jazz and dancing and loud colorful clothing. One of their persecutors enters the fold, another leaves. Discoveries are made, songs are sung (though not as many as you might expect), lives change.