This crowdfunded project is the story of one of the most famous living Russian artist, Oscar Rabin, who challenged the Soviet communist system and managed to prevail.
In 1974, he organizes a prohibited open-air art exhibition, which the KGB smashes using bulldozers. This is considered the most effective action of the civil disobedience in the USSR after Stalin’s death alongside with 1968 demonstration on the Red Square against Soviet invasion to Czechoslovakia. The following day, the event was publicized worldwide.
The Soviets were alarmed by Oscar’s event and within two weeks nevertheless allowed the unofficial artists to hold an exhibition. It was attended by thousands of Muscovites and referred to as the “Soviet Woodstock”. Shortly thereafter, he was exiled from the USSR and stripped off his citizenship.
Having settled in France, he managed to gain international fame with his paintings, which are exhibited in the Centre Pompidou and many other major collections. In 2006, the Soviet ambassador to France visits him at his Paris studio and personally returns his passport.
This is a story of a self-made man who never betrayed his artistic principles and always fought to show how powerful a weapon nonviolent resistance can be. It is a refugee success story: a story of love, art and human dignity.
The film shows the life of a person who lived his life in accordance with the principle adopted by GULAG prisoners: don’t trust, don’t be afraid, don’t ask. Who merely wanted to paint, but became the leader of an entire generation.
A a lot of archival footage is shown for the first time.
Many prominent Russian and Western authors, painters and politicians took part in the movie.
OSCAR is the second part of a two-part project, “A ROAD OF MANY COLORS”, which tells the story of two famous Russian non-conformist artists, Valentina Kropivnitskaya and Oscar Rabin.
The first part of the project, a movie In Search of a Lost Paradise, was finished in 2015. Shortly thereafter, the film received major awards from eight international film festivals and in 2016 it won NIKA Academy award, the most prestigious Russian National Cinema Award (Best Documentary, April 2016).
Oscar Rabin has died in Florence at the age of 90 on November 7 2018, shortly after attending the premiere of Oscar in in his hometown of Paris.