Directed by Romanian expatriate Andrei Ujica, Out Of The Present chronicles the experiences of cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev. Back in May 1991, the spaceman embarked on a five-month mission to the MIR space station, but ended up spending 310 days in space; by the time he returned from orbit, the USSR was no more, having splintered into separate republics.
Out Of The Present is the first film featuring 35mm footage shot in space and, unsurprisingly, it's the images of the cosmos as seen from MIR which induce the viewer with a sense of awe. While concentrating on the everyday routines and tasks of the cosmonauts in their weightless environment, Ujica also incorporates video footage of the tumultuous events occurring down below in Moscow, as well as some impressive sequences of the astronauts being retrieved from their return capsules in Kazakhstan.
Although Krikalev proves to be a reticent protagonist (greater explanation of the political context would also have been appreciated), Out Of The Present remains a documentary best experienced on the biggest of screens.