LIIMA PREMIERE ‘RUSSIANS’
A Short Film about one of the biggest Olympic boycotts in its history
Liima have presented a short film for the song ‘Russians’, which blurs the lines between music video and documentary as it tells the controversial story of the 1980 Olympic Games where more than sixty nations boycotted the Moscow event citing political protest.
‘Russians’ was inspired by an orchestral record found entirely by chance. Awed by the music on this nameless album, Liima decided to sample the track’s horn section and build a song around it. It was only later they discovered the orchestral piece was written by the legendary Russian composer Aleksandra Pakhmutova who had created it for the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games opening ceremony.
Directed by Danish filmmaking duo Jonas Bang and M.I.L.K (in collaboration with prxjects, a culture lab by Mercedes-Benz), the pair tracked down one of the athletes who was affected by the 1980 boycott, retired West German javelin thrower Michael Wessing. A gold medal favourite, his story is central to ‘Russians’ where he talks frankly about the protest and its lasting effect on his life, which ultimately led to him giving up his career and Olympic dream.
‘The Olympic Games is a peace movement, an arena for nations to compete and show greatness through sport performances rather than war and politics,’ Bang and M.I.L.K explain. ‘But just as in 1980, politics has a habit of muddying those honest intentions. So with the upcoming games in Rio and the personal disaster for the numerous Russian athletes banned due to a state-organized doping scheme, we felt it was time for a reminder to keep the Olympics pure and honour its peace-positive values. Remember that it is the athletes who pay the price of nations’ political games.’
Watch ‘Russians’ below:
Liima is the Nordic quartet formed by Finnish percussionist Tatu Rönkkö plus Mads Brauer, Casper Clausen and Rasmus Stolberg of Danish act Efterklang.
‘With Efterklang we worked for years on an album and were – often because of over-editing – rarely satisfied,’ say the band. ‘In Liima it’s all about the spontaneous creation of music. Every now and then we just meet in a city, experiment for a week and present the final results by playing a concert – without any form of editing. Our debut album is based on these experiments.’
LIIMA TOUR DATES
August 9 – OSLO, Øya Festival
August 10 – LUXEMBOURG, Congés Annulés
August 11 – REES, Haldern Pop Festival
August 12 – GOTHENBURG, Way Out West Festival
August 13 – HELSINKI, Flow Festival
August 26 – STORKOW, Alínæ Lumr
August 27 – AMSTERDAM, Amsterdam Woods Festival
September 8 – COPENHAGEN, Jazzhouse
September 9 – AARHUS, Atlas
September 10 – AALBORG, Studenterhuset
September 19 – LOS ANGELES, CA, The Echo
September 21 – SAN FRANCISCO, CA, Swedish American Hall
September 22 – PORTLAND, OR, Doug Fir Lounge
September 24 – SEATTLE, WA, Barboza
September 27 – CHICAGO, IL, Schuba’s Tavern
September 28 – TORONTO, ON, The Drake Hotel
September 29 – MONTREAL, QC, Bar Le Ritz
October 1 – BROOKLYN, NY, Baby’s All Right
October 23 – ROTTERDAM, WORM
October 24 – COLOGNE, Gebäude 9
October 26 – TOURCOING, Le Grand Mix
October 27 – VENDÔME, Festival Rockomotives
October 28 – BERGEN, Ekko Festival
October 29 – HASSELT, Nordic Nights
October 30 – LISBON, Jameson Urban Routes
November 5 – REYKJAVIK, Iceland Airwaves
‘Russians’ is taken from Liima’s debut album ii, out now.