'Total Balalaika show' is a name of a sixty minute-long documentary by Aki Kaurismäki about a concert of a Finnish rock band 'The Leningrad Cowboys' and a Russian army band 'The Alexanders' in Helsinki (12th June 1993). Fusion of two archetype symbols of western and eastern music represents one of the most radical semantic shifts in the period after the fall of iron curtain. An interaction took place that would have been unimaginable a few years earlier - here lies its political dimension. The messages are encoded in signs, some of which are readable easily; some of them are more sophisticated. However, the signs do not function on a linear level only, they create vertical relations as well. Moreover, the perception is largely determined by the space that the individual signs were given by the film director. The approach to the study of the message encoded in the system of signs is primarily semiotic interpretation as well as semiotic formalisation. Individual signs had been divided into three essential groups: symbols, icons and indexes and then they were interpreted. The interpretation makes it easier to perceive the structure of the audiovisual recording.