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The hippie movement that captivated hundreds of thousands of young people in the West had a profound impact on the other side of the Iron Curtain. Within the Soviet system, a colorful crowd of artists, musicians, freaks, vagabonds and other long-haired drop-outs created their own system, which connected those who believed in peace, love, and freedom for their bodies and souls.
More than 40 years later, a group of eccentric hippies from Estonia take a road trip to Moscow where the hippies still gather annually on the 1st of June for celebration that is related to the tragic event in 1971, when thousands of Soviet hippies were arrested by the KGB. The journey through time and dimensions goes deep into the psychedelic underground world in which these people strived for freedom.
Hippies meditating © Vladimir Wiedemann-Kultusfilm
Perhaps the only actually functioning system in the Soviet Union was its distinctive network of hippies. Not only did they call themselves Sistema, but this particular self-support system connecting various drop-outs across the urban underground Soviet Union formed a different kind of a hippie movement that lasted through decades. Nevertheless, to be a hippie in the Soviet Union was a serious existential choice, often with no return to ‘normal’ life. In the eyes of the KGB, the hippies were poisoned by degraded Western influences, posing a real danger to the Soviet regime and the moral construction of Homo Sovieticus.