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The band has appeared in a number of popular films, most notably in 2005's Everything Is Illuminated in which the lead singer, Eugene Hütz, co-starred with Elijah Wood in a dramedy and adventure story about the Nazi purges in Ukraine. The entire group was present for one shot in which they played a brass band in a set that included the "Star-Spangled Banner". They also played the traditional Yiddish tune "Bublitschki". Gogol Bordello contributed the song "Start Wearing Purple" to the film's score. The band also has their own documentary called Gogol Bordello Non-Stop. This documentary was filmed in 2008 and follows the band's progress. In 2012, the band recorded a song titled Let's Get Crazy for Coca-Cola's Euro 2012 advertising campaign.
History and influences
"Gogol" comes from Nikolai Gogol, a classical Ukrainian writer, born in today's Ukraine. He serves as an ideological influence for the band because he "smuggled" Ukrainian culture into Russian society, which Gogol Bordello intends to do with Gypsy/East-European music in the English-speaking world. "Bordello", in Italian, refers to a brothel or a "gentleman's club". The band was originally titled Hütz and the Béla Bartóks, but Eugene Hütz says that they decided to change the name because "nobody knows who the hell Béla Bartók is in the United States." The band played their first show as the unofficial band at an after-hours club called Pizdetz where they became the house band and DJ Hütz became the house DJ.
2006 - The Pied Piper of Hützovina - Documentary by Pavla Fleischer about a road trip she and Eugene Hütz took to Ukraine to trace his roots.
2006 - Wristcutters: A Love Story - "Eugene," played by American actor Shea Whigham, is partly based on Eugene Hütz, whose music ("Through the Roof and Underground", "Occurrence on the Border", and "Huliganjetta") is featured in the film as that recorded by the character's old band. Contrary to the belief that he has received no credit for this, the film credits show the copyrights for both Gogol Bordello songs, as well as giving thanks to Eugene multiple times throughout the credit roll.
2008 - Filth and Wisdom - The entire band appeared in this independent film directed by Madonna.Eugene Hütz is the protagonist. Madonna also allowed Eugene to add his own dialogue into the script.
2008 - Gogol Bordello Non-Stop - The development of the band was documented in this film directed by Margarita Jimeno. It follows the band's rise from underground legends to international fame from 2001 to 2007.
2009 - Larger Than Life in 3D - Live High-def digital concert footage shot in stereoscopic 3-D at the Austin City Limits festival in October 2009.
2009 - Live From Axis Mundi: Professionally recorded live concert footage shot in New York.
2011 - Grain: Short film, 'Against the Nature' appears on the credits.
2017 - "American Wedding" Fargo Season 3 Episode 2 "The Principle of Restricted Choice" closing credits
2017 - "Risky Bismuth" The Tick Season 1 Episode 10 "Trans Continental Hustle" closing credits