MUBI have announced that the UK release date for Kirill Serebrennikov’s Leto will be 16th August. It’s release on MUBI and in cinemas will be coinciding with a season of music films and documentaries on the streaming service. The film was screened in Competition at the Cannes Film Festival last year.
Leto is a biopic of the legendary Soviet rock musician Viktor Tsoi (played by Korean actor Teo Yoo) and the underground music scene of 1980s Leningrad. The film also details the relationship between the 19-year-old Tsoi, 26-year-old Mike Naumenko (Roman Bilyk), and his wife Natalia (Irina Starshenbaum). As well as the formation of the Leningrad Rock Club and the recording of Tsoi’s first album, 45.
Leto also sets out to blur the lines between fantasy and reality. This film is a snapshot of a long forgotten time where rock’n’roll wasn’t just about music, but was also a force for change. Leto has gained inspiration from the likes of Michael Winterbottom’s 24 Hour Party People and Todd Haynes’s I’m Not There. However it remains truly unique in its own sense. Leto is a film which celebrates how art can still shock those in power.
It is worth mentioning that the film’s director Kirill Serebrennikov, is a vocal critic of the Russian government. He is currently under house arrest in Moscow. Miraculously, Serebrennikov managed to finish the film without violating the prohibitions imposed by the court. Somehow, he managed to finish his work using a computer which was not connected to the internet.