Synopsis by Jason Buchanan
Director Victor Ginzburg brings author Victor Pelevin's popular cult novel to the screen in this confrontational, occasionally hallucinogenic drama centering on a cynical Russian poet who becomes caught up in the world of high-stakes advertising shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union. Babylen Tatarsky (Vladimir Yepifantsev) was working in a drab sidewalk convenience shop when a chance run-in with an old friend reveals an exciting career opportunity. With Communism now a thing of the past, Moscow is quickly moving into the future. That means Western products will soon be flooding into stores, and in order to sell them Russian advertisers must to dream up campaigns with local flavor. When Babylen's instincts of what sells prove directly on target, he quickly begins to climb the ladder of success. But when Babylen gets a creative block, he turns to LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, cocaine, vodka and spiritual communication for creative inspiration. Summoning the spirit of Che Guevara with a Ouija board, Babylen gets an unexpected education that completely alters his perspective of the media, and he finds himself integrated with a secretive Babylonian cult that offers him a transcendent opportunity.
advertising, drugs, media, post-Communism, Russian [nationality]