The police raided two Tbilisi clubs—Cafe Gallery and Bassiani—in May 2018 as part of a drug enforcement operation. Dozens of people were detained, and a two-day protest rave began in front of the former parliament building—an iconic location for Georgia’s tradition of protest—under the slogan “We dance together, we fight together,” which ended with the government’s promise to liberalize drug laws. In Polivanov’s documentary, shot in the spirit of a coming-of-agefilm, young people—for whom techno is a part of life, and opposition, a natural reaction to the incursion of power into their independent space—realize they have the political power to effect change. In Raving Riot,Polivanov manages to capture the youthful energy of “revolution,” the communal nature of dance and rebellion, as well as the need for agency. The film’s protagonists demand the right to the night: “The day is theirs; the night is ours.”
The film is part of the exhibition Three's a Crowd at the BWA Wrocław Główny (November 20, 2020 - January 24, 2021), which is an accompanying event at this year’s New Horizons.
Stepan Polivanov is a 26-year-old film director and artist living in Moscow. In 2016, together with Roman Naveskin, he directed the medium-length film Flipside, which explores the world of vinyl records in Russia. Raving Riot is his feature-length debut.
2016 Flipside (co-dir.)
2019 Raving Riot