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Tough Kids (PG*) + intro by Alexander Kan

Russian Cinema of Change

Tough Kids

Dinara Asanova's beautifully shot drama asks: can bad boys be helped? At a summer camp, an ex-athlete tries to show a new generation a better way of life.

These are the questions that director Dinara Asanova asks as she investigates the lives of young offenders and the people around them in Soviet society. The story follows a former athlete and graduate of the Institute of Physical Education who decides to help reform young offenders by setting up a summer camp, believing he can help the teens by setting a good example.

A Kyrgyzstani-Soviet film director, Asanova’s films explore the social conditions in the Soviet Union, the world of adolescents, and their strained relations with adults. Asanova was outspoken about social issues, yet remarkably none of her films were banned. They were successful and popular in Soviet Union but remain unknown to Western audiences. Her interest in realism is clear in the opening scene – a documentary-style interview with boys about good and evil.

Soviet Union 1983 Dir Dinara Asanova 96 min

*This film has been locally classified by the City of London Corporation

Presented in partnership with New East Cinema, a cultural collective bringing contemporary cinema from eastern Europe and beyond to the UK.

This season is part of our 2018 season The Art of Change, which explores how the arts respond to, reflect, and potentially effect change in the social and political landscape.

Critic, author, broadcaster, Alexander Kan is an arts and culture correspondent with BBC Russian Service. His main areas of expertise are contemporary music and cinema. He has written a number of books on contemporary Russian culture. He is also a patron and a member of the selecting committee for Russian Film Week in London.


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