A wild flower power ride on the footprints of the Soviet hippie movement take you into the psychedelic underground of 1970s. In search of freedom and happiness under the thumb of political regimes a colorful crowd of artists, musicians, freaks, vagabonds and other long-haired drop-outs created their own system in the Soviet Union. Years later, a group of eccentric hippies from Estonia take a road journey to Moscow where people still gather annually on the 1st of June to commemorate a tragic event in 1971, when thousands of hippies were arrested by the KGB.
Originally published in the Taiwan Journal of Anthropology (台灣人類學刊) Vol. 17, no. 1 (2019), pp. 106-108. Reproduced with the kind permission of the Taiwan Journal of Anthropology. In the first part of Terje Toomistu’s documentary, Soviet Hippies, a group of men and women from Estonia, Russia, and the Ukraine, most now in their 70s, introduce us to the major…
Terje Toomistu is an Estonian documentary filmmaker and anthropologist. She holds a Ph.D. degree in Ethnology as well as two MA degrees (cum laude) in Ethnology and in Communication Studies from the University of Tartu, where she is currently employed as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow, holding Postimees Fund’s research grant. Having conducted extensive research in Russia and Indonesia, she has been a Fulbright scholar at UC Berkeley and a visiting fellow at the University of Amsterdam.
In both her academic and documentary work she often attends to the less visible and more marginal groups and practices as well as to the various kinds of organization of life that hold the promise of more sustainable, co-creational, and happy futures. With filmography including Wariazone (2011), Archaeology of Ayahuasca (2016), the award-winning Soviet Hippies (2017), and a recently co-directed Veins of the Amazon (2021), her research-driven documentaries combine the anthropological depth of inquiry with playful experimentation. She has also co-curated a multimedia exhibition about Soviet hippies, which has been exhibited in museums and galleries internationally.