'The Road Movie': A Look at Russia From Dash Cam Footage

The Road Movie H 2016
Courtesy of The Road Movie

The film is among new documentary projects presented in Karlovy Vary.

A crazed man clinging to the front hood of a car as it speeds along a road is among the more normal images from a new film that explores Russian society as seen through the prism of dashboard cameras.

The Road Movie is a feature-length documentary conceived by director Dmitry Kalashnikov that was among a dozen new Eastern European non-fiction projects presented Tuesday at a Karlovy Vary film festival industry event, Docu-Talents from the East.

The film, which places the viewer in the position of the anonymous drivers behind the dash-cam clips, is made of dozens of short sequences of unalloyed life in Russia.

Collected from YouTube and other websites, the documentary explores episodes that range from the sublime to the ridiculous, and all stops in between.

"There is as much humor as tragedy witnessed here," Kalashnikov told The Hollywood Reporter. "A dash cam does nothing to influences its surroundings and therefore offers perfect conditions for an objective documentary film."

It was organized by Kalashnikov, who was inspired to make the doc after a wide range of dash-cam footage was posted online after the 2013 meteor explosion over the Urals city of Chelyabinsk.

"The film really depicts the essence of Russian life and the Russian attitude to life. It is a very Russian film," he said. 

The Road Movie is currently in postproduction with a spring 2017 release date in view.