At the Lenin Museum, outside Moscow, curator Natalya Victorovna promises "a true Soviet-era experience." Some die-hard Communists still come, but attendance has dwindled, and the museum is struggling.
LENINLAND brilliantly captures the absurdities, contradictions, and surreal moments that come with trying to maintain a shrine to the father of a political system few want to see return. A Christmas tree stands near the feet of an enormous statue of Lenin. An Orthodox church is going up next door. Reel-to-reel tapes boom information about the electrification of Russia into empty rooms.
At the heart of the film lies curator Victorovna, a true believer in the Communist dream and a stickler for detail. She admits to a fondness for material goods, says she could stand to have a higher salary, and argues the fine points of Marxism with co-workers.
Now, she finds herself fighting a new director who cares more about marketing than historical content, and who threatens to cancel the museum's new showpiece - an exhibit to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the founding of the USSR.
"“LENINLAND is a good doc: short, absurd, indicative of how far the country has come." —Erik Lundegaard
Award from Guild of Cinema Critics and Cinema Researchers, 2013 Stalker HRFF Moscow
2014 Seattle International Film Festival
2014 Vladivostok IFF of Asian-Pacific Countries
Award for Best Russian Debut Film, 2014 Message to Man IFF St. Petersburg
Grand Prix, 2014 Magas Tourist FF "Rendezvous with Russia"
Press Award, 2014 Yekaterinburg IDF ROSSIJA
Best Documentary Director Award, 2014 Russian FF KINO Genève
2014 Verzio HRFF Budapest
"It would have been easy for Askold Kurov to make fun of the museum. He does not. He brings forward the institution, lets the viewer see it, meet the ones who work there and let them take the floor. A fine choice." —Filmkommentaren
"A funny, moving, profound view into the past, present and future of the Lenin cult. Highly recommended. —Educational Media Reviews Online