Gagarin: First in Space


Gagarin: First in Space
Gagarin FIRST IN SPACE.jpg
English release film poster
Directed byPavel Parkhomenko
Written by
  • Andrey Dmitriev
  • Oleg Kapanets
Based onVostok 1
Produced by
  • Andrey Dmitriev
  • Oleg Kapanets
CinematographyAnton Antonov
Edited by
Music byGeorge Kallis
Kremlin Films
Distributed by
Release date
  • 6 June 2013 (2013-06-06) (Russia (theatrical))
Running time
108 minutes
(with other-languages subtitled)
Budget$9.5 million (estimated)

Gagarin: First in Space a.k.a.. First man In Space (Russian: Гагарин. Первый в космосе) is a 2013 Russian docudrama biopic about the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin, and the 1961 mission of Vostok 1. It was released by Central Partnership theatrically in Russia on June 6, 2013, and in the United Kingdom on DVD on June 23, 2014 by Entertainment One. The film's running time of 108 minutes approximates the time it took Gagarin to go around the Earth before returning. It stars Yaroslav Zhalnin as Soviet fighter pilot and cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. The film received mixed reviews, with some critics praising the film's acting, direction and storytelling with others touching on the film's "cheap-looking" visual effects. The film received criticism for its state funding and ignoring the aftermath of the flight.


On April 12, 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin blasted off in a Vostok rocket, becoming the first human in space and orbiting Earth for 108 minutes. He was one of the first group of cosmonauts who were selected from over three thousand fighter pilots throughout the Soviet Union.

The legendary top twenty who were selected were the ace of aces and none of the pilots knew which amongst them would make history on the first manned flight. Once chosen Gagarin is fast-tracked to train for the unknown and the trip of a lifetime.

Whilst strapped into his rocket, Gagarin reflects on his life, which is intercut with the determination of the Russian space team and their untiring efforts to send a man into space.


The real Yuri Gagarin, played in the film by Yaroslav Zhalin.


The film was released on DVD and Digital Download on June 23, 2014 by Entertainment One.[1]


The film ignored the rest of Gagarin's life, Daily Telegraph reviewer Martin Chilton said, and his death, for which there are many conspiracy theories.[2][3] He noted other criticisms of the film as "sanitized",[4] reporting that Gagarin's family supported the film, after having taken legal action against two previous depictions of Gagarin, in a musical and a fictional drama.[2]

Relationship to other films

The film tells the same story as the 2011 British documentary film First Orbit, which re-uses footage of the original flight. First Orbit has received acclaim for its historical accuracy. Critics have noted similarities to the 2013 British - American sci-fi epic Gravity. It was mentioned that Gagarin might be trying to use the popularity of Gravity as a marketing ploy. This is particularly noticeable in the UK DVD release, which uses the same font and colours as the release of Gravity.


  1. ^ "Win Gagarin: First In Space On DVD". 2014-06-21. Retrieved 2021-04-06.
  2. ^ a b Chilton, Martin. "Yuri Gagarin movie attracts criticism". The Telegraph. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
  3. ^ Osborn, Andrew. "Yuri Gagarin death mystery solved after 40 years". The Telegraph. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
  4. ^ Chilton, Martin. "Yuri Gagarin movie attracts criticism". The Telegraph. Retrieved July 26, 2014. The TV channel Rain accused Parkhomenko of having "made a deadly retro film as if he was turning a feature from Pravda into a film".

External links