Exploring Ukraine's Underground Rave Revolution

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  • ℹ️ Description
Exploring Ukraine's Underground Rave Revolution 5

The 2014 revolution brought Kiev nightlife to a complete standstill. As protests turned into riots, and government security forces opened fire on protestors, the country fell into crisis. But out of the ashes of revolution has risen a new generation. Slava Lepsheev, who’d lost his job because of the financial crisis triggered by the war, had had enough, and started Cxema, a raw, hard and hypnotic techno rave that he took to whatever semi-legal venue he could set a soundsystem up in. So together with Slava, and the city’s brightest young lights, we followed young Kiev as they prepared for a night at Cxema, from building the venue to watching the sunrise break.

Director Tom Ivin

Producer Kate Villevoye
Local Fixer Lyuba Knorozok, Dmitry Kolchinsky

Director of Photography Jack Reynolds
Sound Denys Ryskal, Andrii Vaskovski, Viktor Savin
Lighting Stanislav Bezpechnyi
Production Assistant Andrii Bezliudnyi

Editor Paul Frankl, Rebecca Gin
Colourist Oisín O’Driscoll at The Mill
Sound Mix Guy Chase

Narrator Leala-Rain Shonaiya
Script Clive Martin, Matthew Whitehouse
Translations Yelena Kensborn

Voin Uruwu feat. Valta - Hunters and Gatherers
Voin Uruwu - Forest Theme
Stanislav Tolkachev - Sometimes Everything Is Wrong
Lollibou - Crimson Tune
Wulffius - In the Pines’ Crowns (Wicked Bass Records 2016)
Stanislav Tolkachev - Right Angle
Voin Oruwu - A-mplification

Archive courtesy of
Vice News, Slava Lepsheev, Unkle Dee, Aleksey Olin

Global Executive Producer Ravi Amaratunga
Supervising Producer Eloise King
Production Manager Lauran Clark
Production Assistant Lily Rose Thomas
Assistant Producer Stephen Isaac-Wilson
Post Production Coordinator Regina Lemaire-Costa

Commercial Creative Director Bunny Kinney
Talent Producer Declan Higgins
Head of Production Bree Horn
Head of Post Production Daniel Elias
Post Production Administrator Laura Davidson

Special Thanks
Slava Lepsheev, Dima Kovalyov, iZone, Anastasiia Fedorova

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💬 Comments on the video

A documentary about underground rave without actually letting us hear the underground rave. good job.

Author — mustis M


i love how they ignore the fact that most these kids are on drugs

Author — Menthol


Disclaimer: I'm a 19-year-old lower middle class Ukrainian from Kyiv (where it all happens); some of my friends rave, I don't.

Even though I liked the video (script, camera work, lighting — outstanding), I certainly feel like it's heavily over-victimizing our rave culture. I don't blame i-D for this, I can see how they are constantly looking for powerful and touching stories. It seems to me i-D were looking for this kind of story here and people whom they interviewed gave them what they wanted. The truth is, despite the fact Ukrainian revolution did make a huge impact on our society, it wasn't nearly as devastating as you might guess from the video. It wasn't war-like devastating, you see. It was a huge mess, some people lost their jobs, but it wasn't devastating.

When the thing went off, I was your regular upper-working lower-middle class of age 15. 1 couldn't lose my job, simply because I couldn't have one. I also, thankfully, didn't lose any of my siblings. That said, I've been living in suburbs all my life and most of my close friends are coming from the working class, so I'm fairly sure I don't live in a bubble. I don't want to say it, but CXEMA is too much of a joke these days. It's expensive and most people go there for drugs, not music. I'm not a raver myself, but most of my raving friends don't take it seriously anymore. Think of hip underage amphetamine-driven girls in fancy clothes and you'll get the feel.

What happened in Ukraine is tragic and I know there's lots of pitiful stories associated with it, but it has little to do with rich spoiled brats you'll find behind the doors of CXEMA.

Author — Ian P Badtrousers


They represent about 0.10% of Ukrainian youth. A lot of things they say are very subjective.

Author — Anna Tsymbalist


Uh um/
I`m from Ukraine. So you all need to know that Kiev has nothing (!) common with ongoing war.
These guys dont know about the real devastation, which is taking place on the east of the country, for example, in Donetsk.
These guys are ordinary hipsters. Don`t romanticize the war. It`s absolutely terrifying, especially in the 21st century.

Author — Constantine T.


These are like modern hipsters living in the 90's

Author — tuolinkantaja


not a single mention of drugs. this is more an action movie than a proper documentary.

Author — Mihovil Ilakovac


for some reason, this gives me quite a Skins vibe

Author — M.B.


They play really dope music, and slay in their clothes, but what they say is just shallow, careful information about the situation in Ukraine. It’s obvious they didn’t really care of what was and is happening in the country, they just wanted to seem alarmed for you guys, for the filming crew. They are the kind of people who run from the problems our country is facing to the world of showing off, dancing and, possibly, drugs. Thats a complete misrepresentation of Ukrainian youth.

Author — iulhgiul


Listening to electronic music, and dancing under the influence of narcotics doesn't make you a sociopolitical influencer

Author — Michael Lesko


Other countries when they hit a job crisis, they work harder, Ukraine just parties lol

Author — Joseph Harding


Every crisis is followed by a music revolution.

The end of the URSS and the Berlin Techno
The Vietnan War and the hippie rock
The racism on USA and the chicago house and rap and los angeles hip hop.
The technological explosion due to the cold war, and the synth music

Author — TheDrMFM


Some weird freaks not representing Ukraine, Ukrainians or revolution at all. You're not able to meet them on the street.

Author — Pavlo Mishyn


Too many drugs are used at these raves... I like that.

Author — Con


Wow, fashionistas capitalising on the depressed wages of Ukrainian factory workers...what a fascinating cultural development

Author — Sean Munro


Nothing has changed in their style from the 90s, just that it has become hipster.

Author — JaHeiDu


0:03 did anyone see this guy light his head on fire??

Author — Travis Holmes


Как то сильно стереотипно показали Украину. Мы как страна с фильма Евротур. На самом деле не так.

Author — Александр Дымный


09:00 that tommy jacket tho.. would pay $300 for it eaaaasy

Author — SepztarBeats


In Russia/Ukraine "rave" today 95% hipsters place, commercial and cosplay fest with 1998+ kids.

Author — Twiztz