Soviet Barbara, the Story of Ragnar Kjartansson in Moscow

We follow the Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson and his exhibition at a new art museum in Moscow. This documentary provides us with an insightful and entertaining glimpse into the complications that arise when launching an art exhibition in turbulent geopolitical times.

Shortly before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Icelandic art celebrity Ragnar Kjartansson opened an exhibition in Moscow, in an impressive, new art center that is just a stone's throw away from the Kremlin and owned by one of Russia's wealthiest oligarchs. Here, the artist planned to re-stage 100 episodes of the American soap opera Santa Barbara in Russian – one each day. But when Ukraine was attacked, Kjartansson found himself in a moral dilemma, and his dreams of cultural openness shattered.

Through this absorbing documentary’s very specific angle, it brings the entire Russian society and leadership under scrutiny. Although in the remarkably enjoyable company of Ragnar, and dotted with (black) comedic moments, the political critique is stinging.


The director Gaukur Úlfarsson has worked in film and television for years. His work has traveled all over the world and has been numerously awarded and nominated nationally and internationally. As of this year the head of non-scripted material for Saga film, Gaukur continues to share his vision through stories on the screen.

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Wednesday 17. january

Kl 13:45
Fokus 2 (Bonordsalen)

Friday 19. january

Kl 11:00

Saturday 20. january

Kl 20:15
Fokus 4


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