Columbia University in the City of New York

Harriman Institute




New Sci-Fi Horror: Sputnik

This event was held virtually as a Zoom webinar and streamed via YouTube Live

Please join us for a meeting of the Russian Film Club with speakers Eliot Borenstein (New York University), Tomi Haxhi (Columbia University), Julia Vaingurt (University of Illinois at Chicago). Moderated by Daria Ezerova (Harriman Institute) and Mark Lipovetsky (Columbia University). This event is part of our Contemporary Culture Series.

Taking heed from the Alien franchise—and rife with references to the original 1979 film—Egor Abramenko’s 2020 sci-fi horror Sputnik is the story of a Soviet encounter with an alien lifeform from space. Abramenko explores a relatively underrepresented genre in mainstream Russian cinema in a way that stays true to Ridley Scott’s genre playbook and simultaneously offers a critique of the state and the abuse of power. A body slowly destroyed from the inside thus not only provides many possibilities for dramatic blood splatter, but also offers an apt metaphor of the crumbling edifice of late socialism that is destroying itself from within.

The film is available on Hulu.

Russian Film Club: New Russian Cinema

2021 Webinar Series

Organized and moderated by Daria Ezerova (Harriman Institute) and Mark Lipovetsky (Columbia)

FEBRUARY 24, 7:00 PM
New Sci-Fi Horror: Sputnik

(Egor Abramenko, 2020)

Eliot Borenstein (NYU), Tomi Haxhi (Columbia), Julia Vaingurt (UIC)

MARCH 8, 7:00 PM
Adapting Russian Classics to the 2020s: Dead Souls

(Grigorii Konstantinopolskii, 2020)

Lioudmila Fedorova (Georgetown), Ilya Gerasimov (Ab Imperio), and Anne Lounsbery (NYU)

MARCH 23, 7:00 PM
New Historical Cinema II: Dear Comrades

(Andrei Konchalovskii, 2020)

Pavel Khazanov (Rutgers), John MacKay (Yale), Peter Rutland (Wesleyan)

APRIL 6, 7:00 PM
The Post-Human as the New Other: Cyborgs, Fembots, and Androids in Russian Television Series

Tatiana Mikhailova (Columbia), Elena Prokhorova (William & Mary), Sasha Prokhorov (William & Mary)

Event Video