Sunday, 27 July 2008
Viktor Tsoi (Виктор Цой) (1962–1990) was a famous Soviet rock singer and leader of the cult band Kino. Tsoi's father was originally Korean, and his mother was Russian. He died tragically in a car accident. Even today, he is considered "the last hero of rock" among many Russians (the title was bestowed on him in an obituary in Komsomolskaya Pravda).
Kino's lyrics were interpreted as political messages for the youth, against war and for the perestroika movement, although Tsoi occasionally denied any political inclinations. The band received very little financial support from the state and the fans spread the songs as samizdat.
The above clip features Kino's song Группа крови ("Blood Type") from the soundtrack of Kazakh director Rashid Nugmanov's debut film Игла ("Needle", 1988). The film dealt with the controversial topic of drug abuse in a never-before seen way in the Soviet Union; Tsoi plays a young man involved in shady business who returns to Alma-Ata (Almaty) to find his girlfriend addicted, and decides to take on the drug-dealers himself. Nugmanov's career from taboo-breaking filmmaker to political dissident is colourful enough to warrant its own Chirayliq post, so stay tuned.