You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Gadael Lenin

(Welsh dialogue; English subtitles)

Eileen Jenkins ... Sharon Morgan Mostyn Jenkins ... Wyn Bowen Harris Merv ...Ifan Huw Dafydd Sharon ... Shelley Rees Rhian ... Catrin Mai Sasha ... Ivan Shvedov Spike ... Steffan Trefor

(Welsh dialogue; English subtitles)

Welsh-language cinema adds another feather to its cap with “Leaving Lenin,” an engaging light comedy about a group of teachers and high school students on a snafu-riddled trip to Russia. Commissioned by Welsh web S4C, result has the look and feel of a theatrical feature and could enjoy modest outings at specialized sites, though use of subtitled Welsh dialogue could limit it commercially.

Simple story starts with the motley band being split up when the Russian train on which they’re traveling is divided in the middle of the night. The youngsters go on to St. Petersburg while their three teachers are carted off down a branch line to the countryside.

One sensitive student (Steffan Trefor) has a homosexual awakening with a Russian (Ivan Shvedov), despite the attentions of a Welsh girl (Catrin Mai). Meanwhile, the adult teachers are having their own interpersonal problems as they make they way to St. Petersburg.

The film is very different in style from director Endaf Emlyn’s previous feature, the semi-mystical “One Full Moon.” Though the use of Welsh dialogue for a foreign-set pic seems unnecessarily fastidious, the overall tone is light and easy, with not too much soul-searching: The spirit of Czech comedy is never far away. Only weakness is the script’s failure to make the adults’ adventures as involving as the kids’.

Performances are fine all around, with Sharon Morgan a standout as a wise, knowing teacher. Editing is smooth, and Ray Orton’s good-looking 35mm lensing of the Russian locations betrays no signs of the hasty five-week shoot.

Gadael Lenin


Production: A Gaucho Cyf/S4C Television (Wales) production, in association with Lara Globus Intl. (St. Petersburg). (International sales: Mentrau Cyf, Cardiff.) Produced by Pauline Williams. Directed by Endaf Emlyn. Screenplay, Sion Eirian, Emlyn.

Crew: Camera (color), Ray Orton; editor, Chris Lawrence; music, John Hardy; art direction, Vera Zelenskaya; costume design, Noelle Rees Rowlands; sound, Jeff Mathews. Reviewed at London Film Festival, Nov. 5, 1993. Running time: 93 MIN.

With: Eileen Jenkins ... Sharon Morgan Mostyn Jenkins ... Wyn Bowen Harris Merv ...Ifan Huw Dafydd Sharon ... Shelley Rees Rhian ... Catrin Mai Sasha ... Ivan Shvedov Spike ... Steffan Trefor

More Film


    Film News Roundup: Glenn Close Selected for Oscar Wilde Award

    In today’s film news roundup, Glenn Close gets an honor, AFI names its Directing Workshop for Women participants and Teri Polo gets cast in a Christmas drama. CLOSE HONOR Glenn Close will be honored on Feb. 21 by the US-Ireland Alliance at the 14th Annual Oscar Wilde Awards, held at J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot in [...]

  • Jason Reitman Ghostbusters

    Jason Reitman to Direct Secret 'Ghostbusters' Movie

    Sony Pictures is getting the wheels in motion for the next installment in the “Ghostbusters” franchise, and it knows who it’s going to call to direct: Jason Reitman. Sources tell Variety that Reitman, whose father, Ivan, directed the first two “Ghostbusters” movies, will direct the latest pic in the famous franchise. Reitman has also co-written a [...]

  • L.A. Teachers' Strike: Hollywood Studios, Unions

    Hollywood Studios, Unions Support Parents and Educators as L.A. Teachers' Strike Rages

    Hollywood unions and entertainment companies have stepped up to support the 31,000 Los Angeles teachers in the second day of a massive strike that’s affected nearly half a million students. More than 50 SAG-AFTRA members picketed at a Tuesday afternoon rally in the driving rain next to the Hollywood & Highland Center with secretary-treasurer Jane [...]

  • SAMUEL L. JACKSON in Glass. M.

    ‘Glass’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV advertising attention analytics company iSpot.tv, Universal Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Glass.” Ads placed for the superhero thriller had an estimated media value of $9.89 million through Sunday for 1,183 national [...]

  • Danny Glover

    Danny Glover Joins 'Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle' Sequel

    Danny Glover has joined the cast of Sony’s “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” sequel. His role is being kept under wraps, as is the storyline. Glover will star opposite Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, and Karen Gillan, all of whom are set to return. Awkwafina is in final negotiations for a significant part in [...]

  • DJ Khaled Bad Boys

    DJ Khaled Joins 'Bad Boys' Sequel (EXCLUSIVE)

    DJ Khaled has rounded out the cast of Sony’s upcoming “Bad Boys” sequel “Bad Boys for Life,” joining returning stars Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. Khaled will also join series newcomers Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig, Charles Melton, Jacob Scipio, and Paola Nuñez. Joe Pantoliano is on board to return as Captain Howard. Production is currently [...]

  • SAMUEL L. JACKSON in Glass. M.

    M. Night Shyamalan's 'Glass' to Break January's Slow Box Office Streak

    No plot twist here: M. Night Shyamalan’s thriller “Glass” will dominate the domestic box office. As this weekend’s lone wide release, “Glass” looks to be the de facto choice for moviegoers during the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Now the only question is: how big of an opening can “Glass” pull off? Mediocre reviews don’t [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content