More than six million people ride the Moscow metro every day. During the Soviet era, the stations were built as workers’ palaces. The buildings are full of marble, chandeliers, and other stunning details.
Director Ruslan Fedotov’s enchanting documentary captures ordinary Muscovites from all walks of life, riding the metro. The camera picks up public, yet personal moments: a toddler sleeps on their parent’s shoulder; an elderly couple shares a tender moment; a woman observing a statue ends up in tourist photographs.
Surprising camera angles get up close and reveal the beauty in everyday interactions, in an everyday space. Passengers debate religion and the essence of the Russian soul. They carry chandeliers and Christmas trees, quoting Dostoevsky.
The public spaces of the metro system are also political. Police in riot gear close down stations and arrest people heavy-handedly. Russian soldiers meet their American counterparts. Citizens listen to the president’s New Year’s speech and celebrate Victory Day.
The camera follows as days go by and seasons change. Passengers come and go, drinking, arguing, dancing, growing tired. Only the richest of society are absent.
Laura Manninen (translated by Mira Sairanen)