Total Balalaika Show

Watch Total Balalaika Show

  • NR
  • 1994
  • 57 min
  • 6.9  (822)

Total Balalaika Show is a fascinating and enthralling music documentary from the year 1994. It is directed by Aki Kaurismäki and features one of the most unusual and unique collaborations in the music industry - the Alexandrov Red Army Ensemble from Russia and Finnish rock musicians, Twist-Twist Erkinharju and Ben Granfelt.

The film begins with an introduction from the notorious Finnish film director, Aki Kaurismäki, who then takes the back stage to allow the musicians to take centre stage. The documentary follows the live concert of the Total Balalaika Show that took place on 28 August 1993, in Helsinki, Finland. The concert was held at the Senate Square, which is the largest and most well-known square in Helsinki, and attracted a crowd of over 70,000 people.

The historical and political significance of this collaboration is not lost on the audience, as the two sides come together to produce a mesmerizing performance that blends tradition with modernity. The Alexandrov Red Army Ensemble is a legendary ensemble that had been performing for over 60 years before this concert. Their style of music is unique and has been described as a mix between Russian folk music and classical music, resulting in a powerful and stirring performance that is hard to forget.

Twist-Twist Erkinharju and Ben Granfelt hail from the rock music world and bring with them a different sound and energy to the collaboration. They not only matched the skill and expertise of the Alexandrov Red Army Ensemble but also added to the musical mix by infusing their own brand of rock and roll into the performance. Despite the inherent differences between these groups, they came together with a common interest in creating beautiful music, and the result was an explosion of sound and energy like no other.

The format of the concert is that the Alexandrov Red Army Ensemble takes the stage first, and they showcase their unique brand of music to the audience. They perform a range of traditional Russian folk songs, and each song is accompanied by a beautiful dance routine. The musicians then take turns showcasing their musical talent, from the balalaika to the accordion, the violin, and the trumpet.

Twist-Twist Erkinharju and Ben Granfelt join the ensemble on stage later, and the energy level intensifies the moment they start playing. Their introduction to the stage is almost like a collision of two worlds, but soon enough, the authenticity and passion of both sides begin to intertwine, creating a beautiful resonance that brings the crowd to their feet.

The cinematography of the documentary is another element that makes it stand apart. The wide-angle shots of the concert area allow the viewer to see just how massive this collaboration was. The camera captures the wonderful energy and passion of the musicians as they take to the stage, performing with exquisite skill and artistry.

The Total Balalaika Show is an unforgettable musical experience that showcases the different cultural and musical styles of the two collaborating sides. It is a fascinating experience to see the Red Army musicians in uniform, standing in disciplined honor and playing their hearts out, while the Finnish rockers are dressed in scruffy rocker gear and adding their electric energy to the mix. The result is a captivating performance that will undoubtedly stay with you for a long time.

In conclusion, Total Balalaika Show is an amazing piece of music history and a must-watch documentary for anyone with an interest in music and culture. It is a visually stunning movie with exceptional music that is still as impressive today as it was when it was first performed. The collaboration between these two different sides serves as much as a political rapprochement as it is a showcase of musical talent. Kaurismäki succeeded in bringing together two vastly different musical interests, and the result was nothing short of astounding, making this movie a true masterpiece in musical documentary-making.

Total Balalaika Show
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    57 min
  • Language
    English, Finnish
  • IMDB Rating
    6.9  (822)