Mir

This comic-tragic short film opens with a shot of the Euromaidan protestors toppling the statue of Lenin in Ukraine’s capital. In tinging metal or rumbling granite, the remaining statues of Lenin lament to one another, their language of stone and steel translated for us in subtitles. “Another fallen comrade!” they sigh. To honour him, they hold a minute’s silence.

Unfortunately, one statue of Lenin doesn’t get the message, their most northerly brethren, delayed by distance. In Svalbard, a bust of Lenin stares out across the frozen landscape, unaware of having drawn ire for his faux pas. Finally he hears the tinging and scraping of his nearest relative, dismissing him politely and firmly from the ‘High Choir’ of Lenin statues. Initially dismayed to be left in such isolation, the bust rallies in bravado. Who needs them, eh?

Alone at the end of the world, the bust of Lenin boasts he can do anything, he can fly! He stares up into the night, the heavens clear and close in the Arctic sky, and dreams the dreams of travel to the stars. But a dog wanders into town, and in every bark, the bust of Lenin seems to hear reproach for the death of Laika, the dog the Soviets sent into space. No plan was ever made for the dog’s safe return and it died on re-entry. “I had nothing to do with that!” he insists.

From Lenin’s mighty dreams, he is haunted by the sound of the innocent, destroyed in their pursuit. And from a near-global choir, he has become one voice at the edge of the world. In the background faintly plays a Russian folk song, but it is now more widely known as the tune from Tetris. The world moved on without him, and left him standing here, frozen as stone.

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