in about 100 words or less
Russia 75m, B&W, Colour
Director: Aleksei Fedorchenko; Cast: Aleksei Anisimov, Viktoriya Ilyinskaya, Viktor Kotov, Andrei Osipov, Anatoli Otradnov, Igor Sannikov, Aleksei Slavnin, Boris Vlasov
First on the Moon is a dark comedic fictional documentary about filmmakers who uncover footage of Stalin’s secret space program during the 1930s. Combining both Soviet era archival footage and new film shot to look like contemporary footage, as well as interviews with the surviving participants, Fedorchenko creates a genuinely historic-looking satire of former Soviet accomplishments and the conspiracy surrounding the cover-up of lost cosmonauts and the eradication of the program. First on the Moon is less of a comedy than a surprising political commentary on the former State’s use and disposal of its heroes, who were at best forgotten, or worse, disposed of when they were no longer of use (Klaus Ming April 2015).