THE LONG WAY HOME | feature documentary
Director, Michael Apted
Producer, Steven Lawrence
Editor, Susanne Rostock
Co-Producer, Jo Durden-Smith
DPs: Peter Gilbert, Christophe Lanzenberg,
Clive Tickner and Ralf Bode
The Long Way Home
Feature Documentary. Granada TV/Sony Music Video.
"The Long Way Home" tells the story of what happened to Soviet rock legend Boris Grebenshikov when he became the first underground artist to make an album in the West. The year was 1988, soon after Gorbachev had launched his policy of Glasnost. Signed to CBS Records, Boris, who had never been outside the USSR, was soon shuttling from Leningrad to New York, Montreal London and L.A. for recording sessions with producer Dave Stewart, and guest artists Annie Lennox, Chrissie Hynde and Ray Cooper. But his rock & roll dream turned bittersweet when the members of his long-time band, "Aquarium," felt abandoned and his Russian fans were ambivalent about the English-language songs he brought back home to perform with Stewart at his side. "The Long Way Home" is not currently available outside Russia, but director Michael Apted and producer Steven Lawrence are working to get it re-mastered and re-released.
The seeds for this documentary were planted when Steven Lawrence met and filmed Boris while directing "Tell Tchaikovsky The News" for MTV. A few months later he proposed making a documentary about Boris’s odyssey to the West to make an album. With the support of Boris’s managers, Kenny Schaffer and Marina Albee, and the help of DP Peter Gilbert he filmed Boris’s first trip to New York and LA in the fall of 1987, then Susanne Rostock cut a demo. Soon thereafter Michael Apted learned about Boris through a British producing colleague, Jo Durden-Smith, and flew to Leningrad to meet him. Agreeing the film should be made, Michael and Steven joined forces, and with financing from Granada TV and CBS Music Video, the "The Long Way Home" went into production in time to document Boris’s first recording sessions with Dave Stewart in New York City.