May 6 • 52M

The Immigrant Multiverse

...is real.

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A podcast by Yasha Levine and Evgenia Kovda, two Soviet immigrants living through American decline.
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Michelle Yeoh going into paranoid multiple personality immigrant mode.

On this episode of The Russians, Evgenia and I talk about Everything Everywhere All at Once — an impressive new film that just came out by “the Daniels.” It’s been a big indie hit. And yet most reviewers have missed the central thing about it: at its core it is a film about being an immigrant in America — and about being unhappy with the choice you made. That’s why the film’s schizoid “multiverse” premise works so well here. It’s all about other possible worlds and “what if’s.”

Our only problem with Everything Everywhere is that it’s too happy and sappy for our tastes. It resolves too sweetly with a nice happy ending. But then there aren’t many films that are dark and genuinely skeptical about the American immigrant experience.

We didn’t mention it on the pod but writing this ep description reminded me of what I think is the best (and mostly unkown) novel about the Soviet immigrant experience here in America: Hotel California by Natalya Medvedeva, a singer and a model who was married for a long time to Eduard Limonov. During the Covid lockdown, Evgenia wrote a great script adapting the novel, which is set in Los Angeles, and tried to get a movie project off the ground when we were still back in LA. No luck yet. But I do hope she makes the film one day. It’s a great story and Natalya is a very impressive person.

We discussed Natalya Medvedeva and her novel in a couple of previous episodes: All the Sad Soviet Immigrant Lit and Eduard Limonov and Natalia Medvedeva w/Thierry Marignac. Check them out.

—Yasha Levine



Want to know more? Listen to previous episodes of The Russians.


This episode is for paid subscribers