Scaling Buildings With the ‘Russian Spiderman’
Jun 04, 2018
Filmmaker Geoffrey Feinberg is afraid of heights. So when he first stumbled upon Kirill Oreshkin’s daredevil selfies, “they made me break out in a cold sweat,” Feinberg told The Atlantic. Oreshkin, a self-described urban explorer who has been dubbed the “Russian Spiderman,” frequently scales Moscow’s tallest buildings; at the top, he snaps a photo of himself perilously hanging, one-handed, from the ledge.
Intrigued by Oreshkin and the growing roofing subculture he’s a part of, Feinberg traveled to Moscow to follow the 19-year-old as he climbed buildings across the city over the course of two weeks. “It was a bit of a roller coaster through the city,” Feinberg said. “Every day of filming was a surprise and an adventure. We never knew where we were going.”
Feinberg’s film, The Hanging, depicts Oreshkin relentlessly pursuing his stunts with a tranquility that belies their dangerous nature. Indeed, for Oreshkin and his peers, roofing is about much more than the resultant social media stardom—it’s an opportunity to self-actualize in a society still recovering from communism.
“Roofing is an expression of alienation, independence, and rebellion [against] the old mentality of the Soviet era,” Feinberg said. “It [symbolizes] being able to make space to find what you want to do and create your own path.”
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Author: Emily Buder
About This Series
A showcase of cinematic short documentary films, curated by The Atlantic.