A guide to the New East

The Kros, a new film by emerging director Gleb Sereda slated for release later this year, tells the story of skaters and drifters, the new heroes of contemporary Russian youth. The Calvert Journal brings you a short teaser, an introduction to their journey into the unknown.

For 27-year old Gleb Sereda, The Kros is a personal project: the idea for the film crystallised out of stories which happened to him and his friends, their adventures and ramblings. We follow Sereda’s characters through empty Moscow streets at dawn as they skate past one of the Seven Sisters, via parties, forests and burnt fields. “They mindlessly and carelessly drift on the surface of reality”, the director explains. “Until they reach a certain limit which changes everything”. Their journey has no destination, and the pace is defined by the soft sliding of their skateboards.

Skaters have been familiar characters in recent popular culture: through the work of Larry Clark and Harmony Hugh Holland they’ve become a symbol of youth and counterculture. For young Russian image-makers, including fashion designer Gosha Rubchinskiy, photographer Sonya Kydeeva and director Nadia Bedzhanova, skaters are perfect subjects to anchor visual narratives: beautiful outsiders always on the move, immune to history, politics and whatever society has to impose. There is a prominent skate scene in Moscow, but for Gleb Sereda it’s not as much about the scene as it is about the spirit.

As a strapline for the film, Sereda uses a saying from an old Russian folk tale: “Going there not knowing where, to find something that you don't know what…” In some ways his skater is a contemporary version of a Russian folk hero standing on the crossroads, only these days he’s dressed in a bomber jacket and jeans. The title The Kros refers to the crossroads, although it’s not the only meaning: “It’s a crossing, a cross as a symbol, a cross as a type of running. But in my mind first of all it’s a word which the characters of the film came up with”, says Sereda. “It contains the meaning of their quest only known to them.”

Text: Anastasiia Fedorova

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