The movie


In 1988 in the small town of Melpignano in South of Italy an historic event took place: for the first time some Soviet rock bands performed beyond the borders of URSS. The following spring some Italian bands, including CCCP, performed in the Soviet Union. Through unpublished archival material and the direct
protagonists testimonies we will unfold the incredible story of a musical tour that created a bridge between two worlds that had been divided until then. A bridge made of a universal language that needs no interpreters: music.

Directors' notes

The story that led to the birth of this film began a long time ago; it was in fact 2017 when we arrived in Melpignano, a small town in Salento, for the presentation of one of our films and it was there that, for the first time, we were told the incredible story of 'The Ides of March'. A story that, right from the start, seemed compelling to us, with surreal and grotesque traits, but also full of deep meanings and instances of change.
Right from the research and writing phase, we wanted to imagine a subject where the archive would play a central role, placing it as the founding element of the narrative around which the whole story would be told.
The image taken from the archive should not be selected as a simple index testifying to the reality of a past event, but should instead be interrogated as a representation, as a symbol that enables us to grasp the elements of past reality and know how to interpret them in our present. In other words: what are we able to read in those images? And what kind of relationship, dialectic or contradiction, do we want to establish between our contemporaneity and that time, our images and those images?
Along with music, travel is certainly among the film's central themes. A temporal journey through the 1980s up to the two-year period 88-89 and beyond, with the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the USSR. But it is also a physical journey, more than 3,500 km between Melpignano and Leningrad, now St. Petersburg, passing through red Emilia Romagna and Moscow, moving between two realities as geographically and culturally distant as the Salento of the 1980s and the Soviet Union.
Kissing Gorbachev is a documentary that combines styles and filmic registers that are also very different from each other, embracing the suggestions of the past, in an attempt to understand how the World has changed in this globalised present where ideologies seem to be just a legacy of the last century, but where contamination and the encounter between different cultures still have a revolutionary charge.

Technical specifications

Title: Kissing Gorbachev
International title: Kissing Gorbachev
Running time: 97'
Genre: documentary, musical
Year: 2023
Language: Italian, Russian, English, French
Format: 1:85:1
Country of Production: Italy
World Premiere: Festival dei Popoli 2023, Firenze (IT)


Directors: Andrea Paco Mariani, Luigi D'Alife
Screenplay: Luigi D'Alife, Andrea Paco Mariani, Roberto Zinzi
Executive production: Marta Melina, Silvia Veronesi
Photography: Salvo Lucchese, Nicola Zambelli
Editing: Roberto Zinzi
Assistant editors: Angelica Gentilini, Cristina Monti, Paolo Rapalino
Audio Mix and original soundtrack: Claudio Cadei
Production: SMK Factory, in collaboration with AAMOD - Audiovisual Archive of the Workers' and Democratic Movement
With the support of: Emilia Romagna Film Commission
Under the patronage of: Municipality of Melpignano
With the patronage and logistic support of: Apulia Film Commission
With the support of: General Direction Cinema and Audiovisual
With the music of: CCCP - Faithful to the line
With the participation of: Sergio Blasi, Antonio Princigalli, Gino Castaldo, Francesco Costantini, Alba Solaro, Danilo Fatur, Giovanni Lindo Ferretti, Annarella Giudici, Massimo Zamboni, Effath Djalili, Flavio Giannandrea, Norbert Loghin, Gabriele "Pedro" Pedrini, Wilko Zanni
With the friendly participation of: Artemij Troickij
Sound recording: Claudio Cadei, Marianna Murgia, Cecilia Stacchiotti, Carolina Stichter
Assistant Director: Roberto Zinzi
Camera operator and DOP assistant: Rita Marzio Maralla
Script supervisor: Angelica Gentilini
Colourist: Walter Cavatoi C.S.I. - KoreLab
VFX animation: Isabella Urru
Melpignano Production coordinator: Camilla Solombrino
Bologna Set designer: Cristina Bartoletti
Bologna Assistant Set designer: Elena Lin
Melpignano Set designer: Miriam Pedone
Production assistant: Noemi Di Giacomo
Costume designer: Alessandra Mancuso
Make-up artists: Elena Donati, Eleonora Volpi
Electricians: Flavio D'Anselmo, Giacomo Detti, Giovanni Lupi, Renato Lopez
Machinists: Jalal Albess, Graziano di Domenico
Focus Puller: Federico Ermini
Melpignano Stage Manager: Luigi Nuzzaci
Stage photographer: Michele Lapini
Runner: Quentin Willaert, Daniel Vincenzo Papa de Dios
Audio Mastering Consultant: Alberto Irrera (SoundLab)
Voice recording mayor: Valerio Daniele (Chora Studi Musicali)
Press Office: Arianna Monteverdi, Davide Ficarola
OpenDDB distribution: Gaia Brauzi, Margherita Monti
Green Manager: Florencia Santucho
Website: Calogero Greco
Translations: Veranika Rasinskaya, Anna Roberti, Stephen Hogan
Artwork: Militanza Grafica
Posters: TestiManifesti

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