PFS Film Review
Generation P


Generation PWhen Generation P begins, Russians are content taking sunbaths at a seaside resort. Everyone is secure with a job and a residence. Then Boris Yeltsin pulls Russia out of the Soviet Union. Economic and social chaos follow. The hero of the film, Babylen Tatarsky (played by Vladimir Epifantsev), finds employment selling cigarettes and snacks until his friend Leonid (played by Mikhail Efremov) introduces him to the world of commercial advertising. New products from the West are entering the Russian market, but the Russians know little of their charm unless advertising gimmicks introduce them to the public. Amid a plot that resembles Wall Street (1987), filmviewers learn that gangsters, on the margin in the later years of the USSR, are now dominant in the “free” market. A gap between rich and poor widens, with the clever on top, but not for long. The cynical point of the film emerges within the first hour of the film but is overembellished thereafter as Tatarsky descends into drugs and fantasy. Directed by Victor Ginzberg and based on the novel by Victor Pelevin, Generation P clearly explains why Russians value the stability of the Putin era. MH

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