The film - realised in 1935, in the midst of Socialist realism - is set in the “future” 1946. It is characterised by a fascinating naivety and it epitomises not only the expectations of conquest in a radiant future, but also the degree of utopia that still survived after the onslaught against avant-garde in the 1920’s.
In order to make it, recourse was had to the scientific theories of Konstantin Ciolkovskij (to whom the movie is dedicated) who was regarded as the father of research on human space-flight. Two models of spaceships, Stalin and Vorošilov, spacesuits, ingenious tricks to simulate the absence of gravity, and a launching pad featured on the impressive set design. Dwarfed by the monumental launching pad, the skyline of a futuristic Moscow also included the ineffable Palace of Soviets which in fact was never built but was more real than reality in the imagination of Soviet citizens. The movie’s interiors and metropolitan visions only demonstrate the hyperreality of the time: lavish elegance, ostentation, comfort.
Professor Sedykh from the Institute of Interplanetary Communication in Moscow is determined to fly to the Moon. Professor Karin, a younger colleague, wants to stop his attempt to send human beings into space and argues that a test spaceship with a cat on board is not sending back any signals. But the fierce professor decides to leave with his young assistant Marina and Andrjuša, a very young know-it-all who secretly boards the spaceship - an all but unmissable figure in the fiction of the time.
Weightlessly jumping from crater to crater, the bold expedition men manage to tackle all the difficulties of moon-landing and to return safely and victoriously home to earth, where they - including the cat - are welcomed by a standing ovation: “The road to the cosmos is open!”.