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France · 2020
1h 35m
Director Fanny Liatard, Jérémy Trouilh
Starring Alséni Bathily, Lyna Khoudri, Jamil McCraven, Finnegan Oldfield
Genre Drama, Science Fiction

Yuri, 16, has lived all his life in Gagarin Towers, a vast red-brick housing project on the outskirts of Paris. He dreams of becoming an astronaut. When plans to demolish Gagarin Towers leak out, Yuri joins the resistance. With his friends Diana and Houssam, he embarks on a mission to save their home, which has become his “starship.”

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Empire by

Filled with imaginative, vibrant visuals and an (inter) stellar lead performance, despite some flourishes that miss their landing, Gagarine’s voyage is one well worth joining.


IndieWire by Eric Kohn

The filmmakers excel at crafting delightful musical montages to capture the sense of escapism Yuri finds in his newfound support system, but it’s clear that these circumstances provide only a temporary fix.


Screen Daily by Jonathan Romney

Gagarine’s increasingly wayward trajectory demands of its audience not just a leap of faith but a vault into the stratosphere, and its tone of naïve romanticism could rankle with more jaded viewers. Still, conviction and chutzpah, plus often dazzling execution, will chime with younger adult audiences.


Time Out by Phil de Semlyen

If the ending is signposted, Youri’s earthbound journey to the stars offers a stirring escape from an unjust reality. Like his Russian sorta-namesake, he’s a hero we can all get behind.


The Irish Times by Tara Brady

Just as Youri fashions outsider art – or survivalist dreams – from his doomed banlieue, Liatard and Trouilh craft an imaginative debut feature from the rubble.

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