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Soviet Bus Stops film image, director Kristoffer Hegnsvad

Soviet Bus Stops

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Canadian Premiere

“There’s a bus stop I want to photograph.” This may sound like a parody of an esoteric festival film, but Canadian Christopher Herwig’s photography project is entirely in earnest, and likely you will be won over by his passion for this unusual subject within the first five minutes. Soviet architecture of the 1960s and 70s was by and large utilitarian, regimented, and mass-produced. Yet the bus stops Herwig discovers on his journeys criss-crossing the vast former Soviet Bloc are something else entirely: whimsical, eccentric, flamboyantly artistic, audacious, colourful. They speak of individualism and locality, concepts anathema to the Communist doctrine. Herwig wants to know how this came to pass and tracks down some of the original unsung designers, but above all he wants to capture these exceptional roadside way stations on film before they disappear.

This is a joyous film about the intersection of photography, creativity, politics, and history, and you won’t look at a bus stop the same way again.


 Q&A Oct 2 & Oct 4


This film is also available on VIFF Connect


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Christopher Herwig

Country of Origin





In English, Ukrainian, Russian, Estonian, and Lithuanian with English subtitles

Film Contact
56 min
Art, Music & Photography Documentary

Book Tickets

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Kristoffer Hegnsvad headshot, Soviet Bus Stops director

Kristoffer Hegnsvad

Kristoffer Hegnsvad is a director, writer, and producer, known for Laamb (2013) and Looking for Exits: Conversations with a Wingsuit Artist (2016). He is the chief editor of film and television at Dagbladet Politiken, Denmark’s biggest daily newspaper, and the author of the award-winning book Werner Herzog (2021).

Filmography: Standing on Water (2015); Looking for Exits: Conversations with a Wingsuit Artist (2016)