About The Film
A successful but stifled Russian-Jewish comedian cracks under the mounting pressure of his own insecurities and state censorship, in this smart social satire that is anything but a comedy. After a failed stint as a writer, Boris Arkadiev (Aleksey Agranovich) finds fame and fortune doing stand-up. Popular with authorities and adoring audiences, he is nonetheless humiliated by a lack of artistic freedom, his creative intellect bridled by mid-'80s Soviet repression. Repeatedly summoned like a court jester by the KGB, and distressed by domestic troubles at home, self-loathing takes hold. Finally pushed to the edge by the decadence and despotism of the ruling elite, events culminate in a dangerous, revenge-soaked twist worthy of Shakespeare.