You will not be able to stop watching this Russian road rage footage

Tank explosions, wild animals, oh yea…and an actual comet crashing down to earth.

Jan 17, 2018

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In 2013, an asteroid as heavy as the Eiffel tower passed over southwest Russia in a flash. It was close enough that people on the ground could feel the heat of the space object, and it shattered some windows as it passed. Had it landed, it would have been the biggest impact our planet has seen since the Tunguska event in 1908, which knocked down 80 million trees. The bright flash happened for only an instant, and the rest of the world may have never seen it had it not been for a recent Russian trend of dashboard cameras rolling behind everyone’s windshield.

Everyone got to see the asteroid and it was the perfect gateway to the world of Russian dashcam videos, archives of footage where an 11,000-ton rock grazing the planet is one of the lesser surreal things. Soon, you’ll be able to see all the best Russian highway oddities woven together in a feature-length film by first-time director Dmitrii Kalashnikov. 

Road rage and police corruption are the main reasons dashboard cameras have become popular in Eastern Europe, footage that is handy for drivers to have for insurance or court claims. The moments of life they’ve since recorded have their own value, outside of procedural evidence.

Titled “The Road Movie” (and not to be confused with the movie “The Road,” starring Viggo Mortensen), Kalashnikov takes audiences through a long freak show stretch of roadside altercations, car crashes, wild animals, confused and distressed pedestrians, mobsters, tanks, and automobile feats worthy of a circus top. Without commentary, the film edits the context thematically, freak accidents and freaks of nature, boorish men and forest fires, “The Road Movie” is a taste of a stranger world somewhere down the road.

The film travelled the festival circuits in 2017 and was picked up by Oscilloscope, a company founded by Adam Yauch of The Beastie Boys to distribute alternative cinema. It opens for limited viewings across the U.S. this weekend.

Jan 17, 2018