Leningrad Cowboys Meet Moses

Leningrad Cowboys Meet Moses is a 1994 film directed by Aki Kaurismäki. It is a sequel to the popular 1989 film Leningrad Cowboys Go America that introduced the fictional Russian rock band Leningrad Cowboys which, subsequently, became a notable real life rock band in Finland.

Leningrad Cowboys Meet Moses
German theatrical poster
Directed byAki Kaurismäki
Produced by
Written by
Music byMauri Sumén
CinematographyTimo Salminen
Edited byAki Kaurismäki
Distributed byPandora Filmproduktion
Release date
  • 16 February 1994 (1994-02-16)
Running time
94 minutes


Picking up where Leningrad Cowboys Go America left off, the band has settled in Mexico after charting a top ten hit there. However, many band members become alcoholics spending most of their day drinking tequila. Before long, more than half of the band members have died from excessive drinking. The surviving members have, in the mean time, become naturalized Mexicans, complete with mustaches, Mexican wardrobe but with their pompadours still intact.

Down on their luck and out of practice, the band and their road manager Igor (Kari Vaananen) receive an anonymous telegram, requesting their presence for a gig at the Surf Hotel at Coney Island. So they sneak past the Mexican–American border and make their way to New York City. When they arrive, they find out that the sender of the telegram was their ex-manager Vladimir (Matti Pellonpää) who, after going through an experience of being born again, now calls himself Moses. Moses gathers the group at his room, and plans a return trip to the Promised Land (Siberia), for purposes that are explained later. After they leave for Europe, Moses takes the Statue of Liberty's nose as a souvenir.

While the others head to Europe by boat, Moses stows away on the wing of a plane. Inside, Johnson, a CIA agent (André Wilms), learns of the missing nose through an article in the New York Tribune. Moses, meanwhile, falls off the plane and meets up with the band at a beach. Several of their people from Siberia arrive in a rented bus to pick them up.

Their first stop is Brest, where Moses goes to secure gigs for the band for money. Eventually, Johnson catches up with them at a hotel in Amiens and, posing as a record producer (under the name Raymond Lazar), provides them with money to play for a wedding at the hotel. Johnson goes to the bus to find the nose there, but is knocked unconscious by Igor. The next day, they learn of his real identity from the CIA logo on his cigarette holder, and take him for the rest of the trip.

  • In Frankfurt, Moses is recognized by a gas station attendant, and phones the police. Igor is able to get some street toughs to bust them out, and they play a show before they set off again.
  • In Leipzig, Moses and a fellow band member exchange phrases from the Bible and Communist Manifesto respectively. Later, they both tell the others of the birth of a sacred calf in their homeland, the reason for their journey home.
  • In the Czech Republic, the band wash their clothes in the spring water. Johnson goes through the same experience as Vladimir/Moses, and renames himself Elijah. While in the area, the band plays for a local family. Later, Elijah is asked by Moses to sing the next song.
  • In Poland, one band member gets sick, so after playing for money, they leave him by a hospital doorstep. Elijah attempts to bribe the sick member into bringing the nose back to America, but is turned down.

Before they cross the border to Russia, Moses states that, according to The Holy Bible, he never sees the promised land. As Vladimir once again, he turns in empty bottles to the customs office as a distraction while the others sneak the bus across the border. Everyone is happy to see their return and have a party that evening. The film ends with Elijah being left alone with the nose.

Cast and characters

  • Leningrad Cowboys – themselves
  • Matti Pellonpää – Moses/Vladimir, the band's born again manager
  • Kari Väänänen – Igor, the mute road manager
  • André Wilms – Lazar/Johnson/Elijah, a CIA agent pursuing Moses for stealing the Statue of Liberty's nose
  • Nicky Tesco, who played the American cousin in Leningrad Cowboys Go America, was listed in the credits but did not appear


There has not been a soundtrack album released for this film. Music credited in the film include:

  • "Rosita" – Written by M. Helminen
  • "Nolo Tengo Dinares" – Written by Mauri Sumén
  • "Kasatchok" – Traditional, arranged by Leningrad Cowboys
  • "Kili Watch" – Written by G. Derse, arranged by Mauri Sumén
  • "Wedding March" – Written by Erkki Melartin, arranged by Mauri Sumén
  • "Matuschka" – Written by Ben Granfelt, arranged by Mauri Sumén
  • "Lonely Moon" – Written by Toivo Kärki (as Pedro de Punta), Reino Helismaa (as Orvokki Itä), English lyrics by H. Tervaharju, arranged by Mauri Sumén
  • "I Woke Up This Morning Last Night" – Written by Leningrad Cowboys, M. Helminen, arranged by Leningrad Cowboys
  • "Rivers of Babylon" – Written by F. Farian, B. Dove, G. Reyam, J. MacNaugton, arranged by Leningrad Cowboys
  • "Uralin pihlaja" – Traditional, arranged by Mauri Sumén
  • "The Sunbeam and the Goblin" – Written by Reino Helismaa, English lyrics by Juice Leskinen, arranged by Mauri Sumén
  • "U.S. Border" – Written by Tokela, Jouni Marjaranta

See also

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