Citizens of the Cosmos

Citizens of the Cosmos is based on the manifesto of Biocosmism, written by Alexander Svyatogor in 1922. Shot on locations in Tokyo and Kyiv, in collaboration with a group of amateur actors, volunteers, and extras, the film presents an imagined community voicing the historical desires of Russian Cosmism – immortality, resurrection of the dead, and interplanetarism – all set in everyday life in contemporary Japan. Using urban shrines, cemeteries, a crematorium, tatami rooms, a bamboo forest, an industrial gas plant, and city streets as an open air stage, the film gradually narrates the text of the biocosmist manifesto while presenting a sequence of dream-like tableaus, featuring rejuvenation through blood transfusion, funerary processions and demonstrations, the Danse Macabre, the cremation bone picking ceremony (骨上げ), attempts to communicate with the dead using stethoscopes, and a theremin orchestra recital, among other scenes. Set to an original music score composed by Alva Noto, Citizens of the Cosmos is an experiment in defamiliarization: a speculative test of the universality implicit in Cosmism’s premise when projected outside of the sphere of Russian language, geography, tradition, and culture.
by Anton Vidokle
With Rie Sakai, Akiyoshi Nita, Takaaki Negi
USA / Japan / Ukraine 2019 Japanese 30’ Colour

With

  • Rie Sakai
  • Akiyoshi Nita
  • Takaaki Negi

Crew

Written and directed byAnton Vidokle
CinematographyAyman Nahle
EditingAdam Khalil, Meggie Schneider
MusicAlva Noto
SoundEli Cohn
ProducersKoichiro Osaka, Mariko Mikami, Lyuba Knorozok

Produced by

Asakusa

Tokio, Japan

Mariko Mikami

Tokio, Japan

Lyuba Knorozok

Kiew, Ukraine

Anton Vidokle

Anton Vidokle, born in 1965 in Moscow, Russia, is an artist and editor of e-flux journal. He lives in New York and Berlin. His work has been exhibited internationally at museums, art institutions, and biennials and screened at film festivals.

Filmography

2002 Salto de Agua 2003 Nuevo 2010 Guiding Light; with Liam Gillick, 21 min. · New York Conversations; 64 min. 2012 Two Suns; with Hu Fang, 24 min. 2014 2084: A Science Fiction Show/Episode 1; with Pelin Tan, 68 min. · This Is Cosmos; 31 min., Forum Expanded 2015 2015 A Museum of Immortality; 26 min. · The Communist Revolution Was Caused By The Sun; 33 min., Forum Expanded 2016 2017 Immortality for All: a film trilogy on Russian Cosmism,; 96 min. 2019 A I O U; with Adam Khalil and Bayley Sweitzer, 30 min. · Citizens of the Cosmos; 30 min.

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2020