Total Balalaika Show

Total Balalaika Show is a 1994 film by director Aki Kaurismäki featuring a concert by the Leningrad Cowboys and the Alexandrov Ensemble.

Total Balalaika Show
Polish theatrical poster
Directed byAki Kaurismäki
Produced byAki Kaurismäki
Written byAki Kaurismäki
Music byB. Alexandrov
Tipe Johnson
CinematographyHeikki Ortamo
Edited byTimo Linnasalo
Release date
  • 19 March 1994 (1994-03-19)
(France, Rouen Nordic Film Festival)
  • 2 July 1994 (1994-07-02)
Running time
57 min
LanguageEnglish, Finnish

The concert took place on 12 June 1993 on Senate Square in Helsinki, Finland. The event drew a crowd of approximately 70,000 people from two nations – Finland and Russia – that had been engaged in a state of "peaceful coexistence" during the Cold War.

The concert featured an eclectic mix of Western rock and Russian folk music, and folk dancers performing to rock songs.

Total Balalaika Show was a critical success, scoring a 77% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.


The "rockumentary" features 13 songs from the concert:

DVD release

The film is available on three DVD releases. The first, released by Sandrew Metronome in 2004, is for DVD Region 2. The second, released by Facets, is for All Regions. The third is by The Criterion Collection in an Eclipse box set with the two original films.

Soundtrack Album

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