Film Archive


International Programme 2014
The Last Limousine Daria Khlestkina

An unexpected order for the almost phased out ZIL car factory in Moscow. A giant’s last gasp in the spirit of the old collective, portrayed as a tragicomic mudslinging contest.

The Last Limousine

Documentary Film
79 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Marina Razbezhkina, Heino Deckert
Daria Khlestkina
Anton Silaev
Anna Dashina, Evgeniy Kurbatov
Daria Khlestkina, Mieneke Kramer
Daria Khlestkina
Sergey Ovcharenko, Maria Ushenina
They were not just the pride of the nation, but the symbol of a public display of power that gradually turned into an empty pose. The equally feudal and well-designed limousines that lead the Soviet military parades on Red Square demanded awe and respect in the East and West. They were manufactured by hand at the Moscow ZIL car factory until the collapse in 1990, when the production line stopped. The cause could not have been a lack of dictators or desire to display one’s power. Perhaps the open limousines became too risky? In short: suddenly an order bursts in on the almost phased out factory. The state wants three cars. The spirit of the old collective awakens, the machines are powered up again and the production director sternly inspects the giant halls where the cats have long made their home. Director Daria Khlestkino records this last gasp of a giant with precision and gives us insights – not without wistfulness – into the remains of a former socialist industrial structure where patience and the art of improvisation were the real capital.
Cornelia Klauß