- uploaded: Jan 27, 2013
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Heroes of the Russian cosmos
The Red Stuff is a film about the first real explorers of the cosmos, the "Eaglets", from the early years of Russian space travel. A period in which Russians had one success after another and were streets ahead of their arch rivals, the Americans.
In 1957 the first Russian Sputnik - the first artificial satellite in history - had scared the hell out of the Americans. Later that year the first living creature was sent in to space, the dog Laika. And in 1961 Yuri Gargarin earned his place in history as the first man in space. Soon after, he was followed by Gherman Titov, the second, who circled the earth even before the Americans could target their John Glenn. In '62 these triumphs were followed by the first manned flight for two and in 1965 by the first walk in space. But that success was soon overshadowed by the Americans who were the first to set foot on the moon in 1968 and were hence deemed to have won the space race.
Who were the people behind these first Russian successes? What kind of sacrifices had to be made? What is true and what is false in our view of Russian space exploration, distorted as it is by propaganda interests? With the demise of the Soviet Union, censorship has been reduced. And now this last bastion of military secrecy and political propaganda is crumbling, so the story of Russian space exploration can be told from a different perspective, without the familiar propaganda excesses. Not just the medals and triumphs, but also the darker side...
The darker side
Unique archive material reveals the bravery and the unsurpassed stamina of the cosmonauts. How do they look back on their work and their enforced role in the Soviet propaganda machine? The songs and musical accompaniment to their heroic deeds are of a different order. Passionate, poetic and sometimes wonderfully sentimental, they express heroism, loneliness and love.