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Leto(Лето)

✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Russia, France
·
2018

2h 6m

Director Kirill Serebrennikov
Starring Yoo Teo, Roman Bilyk, Irina Starshenbaum, Philip Avdeev
Genre Drama, Music
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Dramatizing one early '80s summer in Leningrad from the perspective of three figures in its underground rock scene, this film shows life at a turning point in Soviet culture and society. Featuring Soviet rock music and creative musical sequences, the film provides a glimpse into what it meant to create art in the Soviet Union.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

67

The A.V. Club by A.A. Dowd

The film works best as a modest portrait of what the rock ’n’ roll life looked like in this time and place.
75

IndieWire by David Ehrlich

It’s a shambling, transportive, and semi-tragic story about a fleeting past where anything seemed possible.
70

Variety by Guy Lodge

If not as overtly political as “The Student,” Leto nonetheless represents about as flamboyant a statement of free artistic expression as Serebrennikov could make at this moment: There’s certainly nothing contained or inhibited about its celebration of artists who themselves were given little support or leeway by the Soviet government.
60

Screen International by Jonathan Romney

The film’s energy and passion (and no doubt, eye for detail) can’t be faulted, but a tighter film could have more pointedly made the connection between the subjects’ brief lifespans and the fate of a young culture of refusal that arguably died when the system it questioned was replaced by a differently oppressive social order.
60

CineVue by Martyn Conterio

Serebrennikov...has a great eye for composition and crafting a set piece, but the meandering pace and loose approach to storytelling makes his second feature akin to an album front loaded with banging tunes and the rest is filler.
60

The Guardian by Peter Bradshaw

Leto is a film with some wonderful moments and some slightly forgettable stretches – like an album with one or two wonderful tracks.
80

Time by Stephanie Zacharek

Leto is one of those movies that whisks us into a world that feels both familiar and fresh, like a sense memory of a life we might have lived if we’d been born in another decade or on another continent.
90

TheWrap by Steve Pond

Part fond remembrance of an early-’80s Leningrad rock scene and part glam-rock fever dream, Leto asks an audience to surrender to excess and at times to silliness, and it richly rewards them for doing so.

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