Revolution Rock is a historical rock/doc-umentary that examines the history and fall of the Soviet Union from the perspective of Soviet youth, their culture and rock and roll.
The true story about how rock & roll and youth culture lit a fuse that caused the implosion of the repressive regime that was determined to silence them.
Through the lens of rock music and culture, Revolution Rock offers a unique perspective on one of the mostimportant events of the 20th century: the collapse of The Soviet Union and communism in Europe.
In the 1960′s, while western youth enjoyed the explosion of rock and roll and the vibrancy of youth culture, their Soviet counterparts were living in a world dominated by relentless propaganda and a regime that demanded worship of dictators rather than pop stars.
For young people, the Brezhnev era, which spanned the entire 1970s, was marked by a tragic isolation from their Western peers and by a hopeless feeling of boredom. The occasional ray of western culture and music that penetrated through the opaque curtain of repression offered a glimmer of hope for a generation suffocated in a bland world of browns, oranges and Stalin.
The crackly rock and roll sound that was clandestinely transmitted and secretly received on Soviet radio receivers, inspired a daring new generation of Soviet youth to reject doctrine and adopt a new kind of liberty.
Their desire to express themselves exploded in a swell of music and counter-culture that was represented by brave underground musicians and artists who would become the soldiers in a movement that would change the world. Unsanctioned and nearly criminalized by the regime, Soviet rock musicians and youth culture leaders risked imprisonment by the KGB, exile or worse. In the Soviet Union, free expression nearly always ended with dire consequences.
By the early 1980′s, the dangerous punk rock sounds of bands like The Sex Pistols and The Clash began to pulse though Soviet youth from one bootlegged cassette to another. Eventually western musicians such as Kraftwerk and Billy Bragg managed to connect and directly influence Soviet audiences.
After decades of brutal repression, the tinder was set. During a concert by Estonian punk rockers, Propeller, in the summer of 1980, the youthful audience pushed back and clashed violently with their Soviet oppressors. Was this the beginning of the end?
From the Leningrad Music Club and eventually, Tallinn’s Rock Summer, rock and roll music produced a seismic shift in social and political thought and expression that brought down the Soviet system through the 1980′s.
No other art form (with the possible exception of literature), contributed to the final ideological disintegration of Soviet doctrine and the collapse of the Soviet Union like music and rock and roll. As post-Soviet Russia slides towards totaltitarianism, musicians are again leading the charge and sounding the alarm against repression. Once again, artists like Pussy Riot are being arrested and silenced.
Revolution Rock examines the history of rock and roll and youth culture in the Soviet Union and their impact on shaping the outcome of that regime. Featuring interviews with leading Russian and Estonian musicians as well as western musicians who inspired and supported them, the film offers an entirely unique perspective on this important aspect of 20th century history.