At the age of 21, Vasily Vlasov became the youngest parliamentarian in the Russian Duma. Given his abundant confidence and self-assured manner, he could have been a refreshing new voice. But Vasily’s ideals are rooted in the past—seated at his kitchen table, he explains that women should obey their husbands, and at most have a humble occupation such as nurse or schoolteacher. His girlfriend Katya, who's about the same age and has political ambitions of her own, listens on with a benign smile on her face.
Vasily is the assistant and protégé of the clownish ultra-nationalist politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky. Strikingly, his deeply conservative party LDPR (Liberal Democratic Party of Russia), which is viewed by some as fascistic, is particularly popular among young people. To a slick Russian rock 'n' roll song, Vasily walks us through the political theatre staged in Moscow during the presidential election in 2018: meetings with his supporters, campaigning out on the street, and conducting "quality control" on an outdoor market trader—calling to mind events in 1930s Germany. Vasily’s ambition to play his role right is as dangerous as it is comical.