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THE LIBRARY  / MODERN RUSSIAN FILM
01.11.2013


Each month the SRAS newsletter features a line up of the top films in Russia! YouTube videos of the trailers are included, as are new additions to this page.  


 
 Study Abroad
in Russia!

RSL-Side-Bar1 

Modern Russian Film
What's Hot on Russian Screens

The following is meant to provide a glimpse into what's on Russia's screens today. While new release Russian DVDs are not generally easily available in the US (and almost never available with subtitles), you can visit the official sites given below and watch the short trailers there. This page is a supplement to the information given in SRAS's monthly newsletter. To subscribe to the newsletter, register with our site.

Table of Contents

  1. Online Russian Films and Animation
  2. Russian High-Grossing Movies (Since 2010)
  3. Russian Films with Subtitles (Buy from Amazon)
  4. More Films


I. Online Russian Films, Amimation
and Related Resources

Rent Russian Films
Rent Russian films from RussianDVD.com with this netflix-like service!

MOSFILM Online Cinema
Mosfilm Cinema, the copyright holder to a unique catalogue of motion pictures made over the 85 years of the studio's existence, has placed much of that collection on YouTube with English subtitles. For more about Mosfilm, click here.

Soyuzmultfilm
Soyuzmultfilm was the USSR's main animation studio. It is still producing cartoons today - and has many of its classic productions on YouTube.

Industria Kino
Industria Kino is a weekly program on Russia's Vesti 24 news network devoted to upcoming Russian and foreign films. They have a large archive on episodes online.

Lenfilm
Lenfilm is one of Russia's largest film studios.

Glavkino
Glavkino is one of Russia's newer film studios - and is known for its use of technology in film production.

Baskino
Baskino is an online film source offering many newer Russian films and foreign films with Russian dubbing in HD quality.

KinoKultura
KinoKultura is an English-language source of reviews and articles on Russian-language films.


II. Russian High-Grossing Movies

Below are all Russian films released after 1/1/2010 which were in the top 5 for monthly box office reciepts in Russia.

Legend 17
Watch the trailer

 

Легенда № 17 (Legend #17)
(Russia) Drama; released 04/18/2013

Synopsis: Legend #17 tells the story of hockey player Valery Kharlamov, a hero of the epic USSR-Canada game played on September 2, 1972. This match was seen as a battle for the honor of the Motherland and its position in international hockey.

Director: Nikolay Lebedev
Starring: Danila Kozlovsky, Oleg Menshikov, Vladimir Menshov

duhless_poster
Watch the trailer
 

ДухLess (Duhless / Soulless)
(Russia) Drama; released 04/10/2012

Synopsis: Max, 29-year-old top-manager of a large international bank, is convinced that he has it made. He has everything that many can’t even dream about: an expensive car, a penthouse, invitations to the most prestige parties. He spends his life for making money, and his money – for night clubs, beautiful girls, drugs and other attributes of so called glamour life. However, at one time he starts to realize that something about his life is not right. His world begins to crumble. The film speaks of re-evaluation of life and one’s self and overcoming internal crisis.

Director: Roman Prygunov
Starring: Mariya Andreeva, Sergei Belogolovtsev, Michail Efremov

TheSpy
Watch the trailer

 

Шпион (The Spy)
(Russia) War, Adventure; released 05/04/2012

Synopsis: Based on the book by well-known author Boris Akunin, this work of historical fiction details the story of a standoff between Soviet and Nazi intelligence services that began in the spring of 1941, a few months prior to the start of World War II. Major Oktyabrskiy and Leutenant Dorin learn that Hitler plans to misinform Stalin about Germany’s plan to attack the USSR. But to prevent the plan from unfolding, they have to battle a genius of Fascist espionage. Their story develops against the backdrop of the brewing war.

Director: Alexey Andrianov
Starring: Fyodor Bondarchuk, Danila Kozlovsky, Viktoria Tolstoganova

Avgust-vosmogo
Watch the trailer

 

Август. Восьмого (August. The Eighth)
(Russia) War, Drama; released 23/02/2012

Synopsis: Ksenia’s ex-husband, an officer of the Peace Corps in the area of Russian-Georgian conflict, invites their son to visit him and his parents for a summer break in a mountain village. Everything is safe and peaceful, until the tanks roll in. As Ksenia strives to rescue her son from the war zone, enduring the terrors of the destroyed city and near-death experiences, the boy’s imagination mixes the scenes of the real battles around him with imagined dangers such as evil robots and dragons. Based on the events of the Russo-Georgian War of 2008.

Director: Dzhanik Fayziev
Starring: Svetlana Ivanova, Maksim Matveev, Artyom Fadeev

vysotsky
Watch the trailer

 

Высоцкий. Спасибо, что живой (Vystotsky. Thank you for being alive)
(Russia) Biography, Drama; released 12/1/2011

Synopsis: Vladimir Vysotsky was a Soviet singer, songwriter, poet, and actor whose career had an immense and enduring effect on Russian culture. He became widely known for his unique singing style and for his lyrics, which featured social and political commentary in often humorous street jargon. He was also a prominent stage and screen actor. This film was written and directed by his son and stirred up rather controversial responses from the Russian public. It is based on true events of five dramatic days of Vysotsky’s life in the summer 1979 when the actor had a near-death experience on-stage during one of his concerts in Uzbekistan. He met his actual death just one year later.

Director: Nikita Vysotsky
Starring: Sergey Bezrukov, Vladimir Vdovichenkov, Sergey Shakurov, Vladimir Menshov, Maksim Leonidov

Elki2
Watch the trailer

 

Елки 2 (Christmas Trees 2)
(Russia) Comedy; released 12/15/2011

Synopsis: A sequel to the popular film “Elki” (2010), this film continues the theme of New Years’ magic and romantic and comic adventures. It consists of several individual stories taking places in different cities across Russia with some of the characters of the original film.

Director: Timur Bekmambetov
Starring: Sergei Svetlakov, Ivan Urgant, Vera Brezhneva

Ivan-Tsarevich-i-Seriy-Volk
Watch the trailer
 

Иван-Царевич и Серый Волк (Ivan Tsarevich i Seriy Volk)
(Russia) Animation; released 12/29/2011

Synopsis: Another animated film from the creators of the popular cartoon “Три богатыря” series based on Russian folk legends whose characters are well-known to the Russian public from early childhood. Vasilisa, the Tsar’s daughter, is smart and beautiful, but is not ready to get married quite yet, she is looking to get a second higher education first. Then her father decides to marry her out to ‘the next man’… which just happens to be Ivan from the neighboring kingdom. But to marry a Tsar’s daughter is not an easy task and the man must prove himself worthy through a series of adventures.

Director: Vladimir Toropchin
Starring: Nikita Efremov, Michael Boyarsky, Lia Akhedzhakova, Artur Smolyaninov

O-chyom-esche-govoryat-muzhchiny
Watch the trailer
 

О чем еще говорят мужчины (What Men Still Talk About)
(Russia) Comedy; released 12/29/2011

Synopsis: This comical production of a theatre group “Квартет И” is a sequel to their film “О чём говорят мужчины” (What Men Talk About) released in 2010. The four friends from the original film get together on December 31st to celebrate New Years and end up discussing ageless questions about the relationship between men and women, work and recreation, and now, as they are getting older, of life in general and the peculiarities of middle age.

Director: Dmitry D'iachenko
Starring: Leonid Baratz, Rostislav Khait, Alexander Demidov, Kamil Larin

 

bojstenju3_1
Watch the trailer
 

Бой с тенью 3: Последний раунд (Shadow Boxing 3: The Final Round)
(Russia) Action, Drama; released 11/17/2011

Synopsis: After 4 years, champion boxer Artyom Kolchin has achieved everything a simple boy from the Moscow suburbs can dream about. He is a world champion, a businessman, a TV celebrity, loved by women, and a national hero. He doesn't step into the boxing ring anymore, preferring to train others and party in the limelight. In the mornings he is greeted at home by his daughter and his wife Vika – who does not recognize in him the same man she once loved. Suddenly, Aryom’s trainee is nearly killed in a boxing match. Aryom suspects that his opponent has used some forbidden technique against the trainee. To find proof, he has to go to Hong-Kong where his old acquaintance Vagit Valiev knows something about this opponent that is not known to anyone else. To defeat his enemy, Artyom has to step out into the boxing ring once again.

In just two weekends, this sequel to movies released in 2005 and 2007 became the top-grossing Russian film for 2011.

Director: Alexey Sidorov
Starring: Denis Nikiforov, Elena Panova, Andrey Panin

Pregnant-film
Watch the trailer

 

Беременный (Pregnant)
(Russia) Comedy; released 09/08/2011

Synopsis: A news anchor, very skeptical and negative to all things new and unusual, is a constant target of his colleagues’ mockery. Things are not going so well at home either – he and his wife have been trying to have a baby, but with no success. Then he makes a wish for a baby and a miracle happens - he gets pregnant. His friend suggests using the situation to gain money and glory by creating a new TV show and the comedy really begins. 

Director: Sarik Andreasyan
Starring: Dmitry Dyuzhev, Michael Galustyan, Anna Sedokova

sluzhebny_roman_nashe_vremya
Watch the trailer
 

Служебный роман. Наше время (Office Romance. Our time)
(Russia) Romantic comedy; released 03/17/2011

Synopsis: This is a remake of a very popular and well-loved Russian comedy, filmed originally by the famous Eldar Ryazanov in 1977. The original was set in a Soviet statistics agency – the updated film is now set in a capitalist credit ratings agency. Here, a strict business-woman, the owner of the agency works as does a financial analyst who is also a single father of two. He is almost invisible among the other employees but striving to receive a promotion. A corporate party brings this mismatched pair together and starts an unexpected and very comical romance…  

Director: Sarik Andreasyan
Starring: Vladimir Zelenskiy, Ludmila Kalugina, Pavel Volya.

Lyubov-morkov-3
Watch the trailer
 

Любовь-Морковь 3 (Lubov-Morkov 3/ Lovey-Dovey 3)
(Russia) Comedy; released 03/01/2011

Synopsis: This is the latest Freaky-Friday-like, body-switching adventure of the Golubev family, the first of which played out on Russian TV screens in 2009. This is the third and billed to be the last installment. In the first film, the parents exchanged bodies with each other and in the second – with their children. Now, Mr. and Mrs. Golubev will have to come to understand their parents by “walking a mile in their shoes;” the wife’s mother is an art expert and a museum employee, and the husband’s father is an army colonel.

Director: Sergei Ginzburg
Starring: Kristina Orbakayte, Yuriy Kutsenko, Andrei Urgant.

Vykrutasy_poster
Watch the trailer
 

Выкрутасы
(Vykrutasy (Twists and Turns))

(Russia) Comedy; released 02/17/2011

Synopsis: A teacher of Russian language from a little town visits Moscow with a newly written novel manuscript and meets successful young lady Nadya (played by Milla Jovovich). The young people fall in love and decide to get married. Before the wedding, Slava must take a short trip to his hometown. The most bizarre circumstances hinder him from returning to his bride at the day of the wedding.

Director: Levan (Leo) Gabriadze
Starring: Konstantin Khabenskiy, Milla Jovovich, Ivan Urgant.

tri_bogatyrja
Watch the trailer

 

Три богатыря и Шамаханская царица
(Tri Bogatirya i Shamahanskaya Tsaritsa)

(Russia) Animation; released 12/30/2010

Synopsis: This is the fourth and final of a series of animated films based on Russian folk legends. A bogatyr is an epic warrior from ancient Kievan Rus. Most are directed in the traditional bylinas, traditional Russian epic poems, as being endowed with enormous strength and cunning along with other not-so desirable features. Here, our three heroes gather together once more to rescue the ruler of the land from the attempts of an evil foreign queen. She plans to make him fall in love with her so her youth and beauty can be renewed, but in exchange will destroy his kingdom.

Director: Sergei Glezin
Starring: Dmitry Bykovsky, Valery Soloviev, Anna Geller

Yolki
Watch the trailer

 

Ёлки (Christmas Trees) 
(Russia) Comedy; released 12/16/2010

Synopsis: A little girl in Kaliningrad makes an impossible wish for New Year’s Eve – one that only the President of Russia can fulfill. Through the magic of “Six Degrees of Separation,” complete strangers pass her wish from person to person through Yakutsk, Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk, Perm, Kazan, Ufa, Moscow, Saint-Petersburg and Kaliningrad. The resulting collection of funny, touching, sentimental, miraculous, and moral-teaching stories, along with an all-star cast of famous Russian actors made this movie a hit for the Russian holiday season for which it was released in late 2010. "Ёлки," incidentally, are set up by Russians for their New Year's celebration, so the title might be more accurately translated as "New Year's Trees" - although that would likely not be understood by a Western audience.

Director: Timur Bekmambetov
Starring: Sergei Svetlakov, Ivan Urgant, Vera Brezhneva

darkworld
Watch the trailer

 

 

Темный мир
(Dark World)

(Russia) Mystery/Thriller, Fantasy; released 10/7/2010

Synopsis: A group of students sets off on an expedition to the villages of Russia's remote northern territories. A girl among them, infatuated with mysticism and romantic notions of the afterworld, finds an ancient tomb from which she awakens the wrath of spirits of the past and receives supernatural abilities. Now the students must battle the evil forces.

Director: Anton Megerdichev
Starring: Svetlana Ivanova, Ivan Zhidkov, Elena Panova


Watch the trailer

 

Утомлённые солнцем 2
(Burnt by the Sun 2)

(Russia) Drama; released 4/22/2010
Buy this film (subtitled)

Synopsis: The long-awaited sequel to the 1994 Academy award-winner stars the two main characters that were thought to have died at the end of the first film: Colonel Sergei Kotov, the decorated Russian Civil War hero who was accused of treason, and Mitya, the NKVD agent whose mission it was to arrest him. It turns out that instead of being executed, Kotov is living in a Soviet detention camp when World War II reaches Soviet territory in 1941. He is sent to the front to fight, where it seems his chances of survival are even dimmer than in the gulag.

Director: Nikita Mikhailkov
Starring: Nikita Mikhailkov, Oleg Menshikov, Nadezhda Mikhailkova


Watch the trailer
 

О чём говорят мужчины
(What Men Talk About)

(Russia) Comedy; released 3/4/2010
Rent or buy this film 

Synopsis: This Russian comedy reveals what men really talk about when they're alone with their best male friends – about work, money, cars, sports, and of course – women. Four friends manage to escape the duties and responsibilities of their everyday lives for a few days and head out on a road trip where they find plenty to talk about.

Director: Dmitry Dyachenko
Starring: Sergei Petreykov, Rostislav Khait, Leonid Barats, Alexander Demidov

 

 

 Любовь в большом городе 2
(Love in the Big City 2)

(Russia) Comedy; released 2/25/10

Rent or buy this film

Synopsis: In this sequel, Igor invites Sauna, Artyom, and the others with him on a trip to China to visit his father and introduce him to his fiancée. They hear about a monastery on the edge of the town they’ll be staying in that, according to a legend, has an icon that is famous for increasing the fertility of all who touch it. The guys all agree they aren’t ready for fatherhood, but they visit the monastery and despite the warnings, touch the fertility icon anyway. Not sure whether they believe in such superstitions, they decide to abstain from sex for the rest of the trip, just to be sure. After their fiancées find out what’s been going on and leave for home, the three guys are left alone and find out that there’s another twist to this superstition: the first one of them to get back in bed with their fiancée will immediately become a father, but the other two will have to wait 20 years before they can even hope for children. All of a sudden, all three realize they’re ready for fatherhood and the race to get home begins.

Director: Maryus Viceberg
Starring: Alexei Chadov, Vera Brezhneva, Vladimir Zelenski


Watch the trailer
  Мы из будущего 2
(We Are From the Future 2)

(Russia) Action/Adventure, Fantasy; released 2/18/10
Buy this film

Synopsis: The heroes from the first "We Are From the Future," Borman and Cherup, return in this sequel, this time ending up back in 1944. While working on a World War II battlefield attempting to reconstruct the events that took place there, the men, along with their two Ukrainian colleagues, are transported back in time to the "Borodovsky Cauldron," the site of a fierce battle where Soviet troops faced the Nazi SS Galichina Division, made up primarily of Ukrainians who fought on Nazi Germany’s side in WWII. Borman and Cherup and their colleagues Taran and Seroye end up on opposing sides in the battle and they must unite to defeat their common enemy in order to save their future and return home.

Director(s): Alexander Samokhvalov, Boris Rostov
Starring: Igor Peterenko, Ekaterina Klimova, Vladimir Yalyich


Watch the trailer

 

Кандагар (Kandahar)
(Russia) Action/Drama; released 2/4/10
Rent or buy this film  

Synopsis: This film is based on actual events – in 1995, the Russian crew of Aerostan IL-76 was captured by the Taliban and held prisoner for over a year. While transporting supplies and ammunition to the Afghan government, the plane’s captain received radio messages ordering him to land for what was supposed to be a routine cargo inspection. Instead, the crew of five Russians was captured by the Taliban. With all diplomatic negotiations attempting to free them coming to a deadlock time and time again for over a year, the crew decides that their only chance to escape is to try and recapture their own plane.

Director: Andrei Kavun
Starring: Vladimir Mashkov, Andrei Panin, Alexander Baluyev


 III. Russian Films with Subtitles
 
Click the Title for an Amazon.com Link 

Below are films available on Amazon.com with English subtitles. Most are considered to be modern classics. 

Brother

 

Брат (Brother)
(Russia) Drama, Thriller; released 1997
Buy this film

Synopsis: Danila returns home after serving two years in the army but, unsatisfied with small town life, he leaves for St. Petersburg where his elder brother Viktor has made a success. Danila soon discovers that his brother is a contract killer and subsequently joins him on a hit for $20,000 but is wounded in the process. Their mark, a well-known Chechin mobster, is now in deadly pursuit of Danila. However this doesn't stop Danila from finding romance with Sveta and, later, Kat.

Director: Aleksey Balabanov
Starring: Sergey Bodrov Jr., Viktor Sukhorukov, Svetlana Pismichenko, Mariya Zhukova, Yuriy Kuznetsov

Brother 2
Watch the trailer
 

Брат 2 (The Brother 2)
(Russia) Action, Crime, Thriller; released 2000
Buy this film

Synopsis:The second installment in the Brat /Brother/ series is glitsier and the guns are bigger, as is the body count. Danila Bagrov goes after the killers of his war-time friend. Reunited with his "brother" from the original Brat, played by Victor Sukhorukov, Danila runs, shoots and blows up things - now THIS side of the Pond. This is dynamic movie, and is anything but politically correct - be it the mounting body count or the amount of racial slur.

Director: Aleksey Balabanov
Starring: Sergei Bodrov Jr., Viktor Sukhorukov, Alexander Diachenko

Hipsters
Watch the trailer

 

Стиляги (Hipsters)
(Russia) Drama, Musical, Romance; released 2008
Buy this film

Synopsis: While the Cold War heats up on the world stage, rebellious youth in 1955 Moscow wage a cultural battle against dismal Soviet conformity, donning brightly colored black-market clothing, adopting American nicknames and reveling in forbidden jazz. Straight-laced 20-year-old Communist Mels finds these brazen 'hipsters' shocking until he falls under the spell of one, namely Polly, and joins the new revolution. Soon he's become one of them, cavorting in the latest flashy fashions, sporting an enormous pompadour and wailing on the saxophone.

(This video (including trailer) may not be appropriate for all audiences).

Director: Valery Todorovsky
Starring: Anton Shagin, Oksana Akinshina, Eugenia Khirivskaya, Maksim Matveyev, Igor Voynarovskiy

Cargo_200
Watch the trailer

 

Груз 200 (Cargo 200)
(Russia) Drama, Thriller; released 2008
Buy this film

Synopsis: The action is set during culmination of the Soviet war in Afghanistan in 1984 and the movie's title refers to the zinc coffins in which dead Soviet soldiers were shipped home.  

(This video (including trailer) is not appropriate for all audiences. Please see complete story plot here. Russian movie rating corresponds to NC-17)

Director: Aleksey Balabanov
Starring: Agniya Kuznetsova, Aleksei Poluyan, Leonid Gromov

Burnt by the Sun
Watch the trailer

 

Утомленные солнцем (Burnt by the Sun)
(Russia) Drama, History; released 1995
Buy this film

Synopsis:Russia, 1936: revolutionary hero Colonel Kotov is spending an idyllic summer in his dacha with his young wife and six-year-old daughter Nadia and other assorted family and friends. Things change dramatically with the unheralded arrival of Cousin Dmitri from Moscow, who charms the women and little Nadia with his games and pianistic bravura. But Kotov isn't fooled: this is the time of Stalin's repression, with telephone calls in the middle of the night spelling doom - and he knows that Dmitri isn't paying a social call...

Director: Nikita Mikhalkov
Starring: Nikita Mikhalkov, Ingeborga Dapkunaite, Oleg Menshikov, Nadezhda Mikhalkova, Vyacheslav Tikhonov

Burnt by the Sun 2
Watch the trailer

 

Утомленные солнцем 2(Burnt by the Sun 2)
(Russia) Drama, War, History; released 2010 and 2011
Buy this film

Synopsis: The sequel to the Burnt by the Sun consists of two parts: Exodus (Предстояние, literally 'Prestanding') and Citadel (Цитадель). It is the sequel to Mikhalkov's 1994 film Burnt by the Sun, set in the Eastern Front of World War II.

Director: Nikita Mikhalkov
Starring: Nikita Mikhalkov, Oleg Menshikov, Nadezhda Mikhalkova, Dmitry Dyuzhev

 

Mongol
Watch the trailer

 

Монгол (Mongol: The Rise of the Genghis Khan)
(Russia) Biography, Drama, History; released 2008
Buy this film

Synopsis: The story recounts the early life of Genghis Khan who was a slave before going on to conquer half the world including Russia in 1206.

Director: Sergei Bodrov
Starring: Tadanobu Asano, Khulan Chuluun, Ji Ri Mu Tu, Amarbold Tuvshinbayar, Aliya

1612
Watch the trailer
 

1612: Хроники смутного времени (1612)
(Russia) Drama, Fantasy, History; released 2007
Buy this film

Synopsis: After the brutal slaughter of Tsar Boris Godunov and his family, Russia descends into chaos. Guided by faith and mysticism, Andrey, the only witness to the massacre, transforms himself from servant to cavalier and sets off on a quest to save Princess Ksenia, the missing daughter of Godunov. Andrey joins forces with Prince Pozharski, the people’s army leader, and faces down the Polish army in an explosive, blood-soaked battle for Moscow.

Director: Vladimir Khotinenko
Starring: Pyotr Kislov, Artur Smolyaninov, Ramon Langa, Mikhail Zhebrovskiy, Violetta Davydovska

Taras Bulba
Watch the trailer

 

Тарас Бульба (The Conquerer: Taras Bulba)
(Russia) Action, Drama, History; released 2010
Buy this film

Synopsis: In the midst of a brutal war, Taras Bulba learns his farm has been destroyed, his eldest son captured and his wife murdered. Seeking vengeance, the fierce warrior sets off on an epic mission for retribution.

Director: Vladimir Bortko
Starring: Bogdan Stupka, Igor Petrenko, Vladimir Vdovichenkov, Magdalena Mielcarz, Mikhail Boyarskiy

black_lightning
Watch the trailer

 

Черная молния (Chernaya Molniya/ Black Lightning)
(Russia) Action; released 2009
Buy this film

Synopsis: A student’s life turns upside down when he discovers the battered old car his father gave him can fly… After his entire world falls apart he makes a choice and shoots from zero to hero as a crime fighter known as “Black Lightning”. Little does he know that evil forces are watching, they want the incredible car, and will stop at nothing to get it, even if it means killing him and destroying the city.

Directors: Alexander Voitinsky, Dmitry Kiselev
Starring: Grigoriy Dobrygin, Ekaterina Vilkova, Victor Verzhbitsky, Valery Zolotukhin, Ekaterina Vasilieva

night_watch
Watch the trailer

 

Ночной дозор (Night Watch)
(Russia) Action, Fantasy, Thriller; released 2004
Buy this film

Synopsis: A fantasy-thriller set in present-day Moscow where the respective forces that control daytime and nighttime do battle.

Director: Timur Bekmambetov
Starring: Konstantin Khabenskiy, Vladimir Menshov, Mariya Poroshina, Valeriy Zolotukhin, Galina Tyunina

Day_Watch
Watch the trailer

 

Дневной дозор (Day Watch)
(Russia) Action, Fantasy; released 2007
Buy this film

Synopsis: A sequel to the film Night Watch. A man who serves in the war between the forces of Light and Dark comes into possession of a device that can restore life to Moscow, which was nearly destroyed by an apocalyptic event.

Director: Timur Bekmambetov
Starring: Konstantin Khabenskiy, Mariya Poroshina, Vladimir Menshov, Galina Tyunina, Viktor Verzhbitskiy

9_company
Watch the trailer

 

9 Рота (9th Company)
(Russia) Action, Drama, History; released 2005
Buy this film

Synopsis: Based on real-life events, 9th COMPANY recounts a year in the shared lives of a group of young soldiers drafted to serve in Afghanistan during the final year of the Soviet conflict. It is a poignant story of the unit s dedication to each other during their valiant defense of Height 3234...a futile battle that ravaged their forgotten company, who fought on, unaware that the war had ended.

Director: Fyodor Bondarchuk
Starring: Alexei Chadov, Artur Smolyaninov, Konstantin Krykov

silent_souls
Watch the trailer

 

Овсянки (Silent Souls)
(Russia) Drama; released 2010
Buy this film

Synopsis: After the sudden death of his wife, tough guy Miron asks taciturn writer Aist to accompany him on a long journey to dispose of her remains according to the rituals of the Merya people-an ancient tribe from picturesque West-Central Russia. As the two friends traverse the evocatively bleak landscape with her body and a pair of caged birds, Miron fills the hours relating the most intimate details of his marriage-with unintended consequences.

(This video (including trailer) may not be appropriate for all audiences).

Director: Aleksey Fedorchenko
Starring: Yuri Tsurilo, Igor Sergeyev, Yuliya Aug, Viktor Sukhorukov

the_return
Watch the trailer

 

Возвращение (The Return)
(Russia) Drama, Mystery, Thriller; released 2003
Buy this film

Synopsis: A story of two Russian boys whose father suddenly returns home after a 12-year absence. He takes the boys on a holiday to a remote island on a lake that turns into a test of manhood of almost mythic proportions.

Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev
Starring: Vladimir Garin, Ivan Dobronravov, Konstantin Lavronenko, Nataliya Vdovina, Galina Popova

 

elena
Watch the trailer

 

Елена (Elena)
(Russia) Drama; released 2012
Buy this film

Synopsis: Elena is a gripping, modern twist on the classic noir thriller. Sixty-ish spouses Vladimir and Elena uneasily share his palatial Moscow apartment. He's a still-virile, wealthy businessman; she's his dowdy former nurse who has clearly married up. Estranged from his own wild-child daughter, Vladimir openly despises his wife's freeloading son and family. But when a sudden illness and an unexpected reunion threaten the dutiful housewife s potential inheritance, she must hatch a desperate plan...

Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev
Starring: Nadezhda Markina, Andrey Smirnov, Elena Lyadova

Brest_Fortress
Watch the trailer

 

Брестская крепость (The Brest Fortress / Fortress of War)
(Russia) Drama, Action, War; released 2010
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Synopsis: Fortress Of War tells the story of the heroic defence of the Brest fortress in Belarus that was assaulted by the Nazi's on the morning of June 22nd 1941. Totally outnumbered in soldiers and weapons, the citizens of Brest fought to the bitter end for twenty-nine endless days. The events that took place in the first days of the invasion are depicted with documentary accuracy, the characters are real. Featuring unique footage of that time and the involvement of the few veterans who survived the battle, Fortress Of War is a large scale war saga depicting a heart-wrenching story of bravery and self-sacrifice.

Director: Aleksandr Kott
Starring: Evgenij Tsyganov, Aleksandr Sirin, Pavel Derevyanko, Andrej Merzlikin, Anatolij Kot

 the_banishment
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Изгнание (The Banishment)
(Russia) Drama; released 2007
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Synopsis: Soon after extracting a bullet from his brother's arm, Alex relocates his family from the city to his father's old house in the countryside. As the family settles into their rustic existence, Alex's wife Vera reveals that she is pregnant by another man. Enraged by his wife's announcement, Alex consults with his brother and demands that Vera terminate the pregnancy. When the forced abortion goes horribly awry and Alex's brother suffers a severe heart attack, a confrontation with the man Alex believes to have seduced his wife send events quickly spiraling out of control..

Director: Andrei Zvyagintsev
Starring: Maria Bonnevie, Konstantin Lavronenko, Aleksandr Baluyev, Maksim Shibayev, Yekaterina Kulkina

 Tulpan
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Тюльпан (Tulpan)
(Kazakhstan) Comedy, Drama; released 2008
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Synopsis: Following his Russian naval service, young dreamer Asa returns to his sister's nomadic brood on the desolate Hunger Steppe to begin a hardscrabble career as a shepherd. But before he can tend a flock of his own, Asa must win the hand of the only eligible bachelorette for miles -his alluringly mysterious neighbor Tulpan.

Director: Sergey Dvortsevoy
Starring: Askhat Kuchinchirekov, Samal Yeslyamova, Ondasyn Besikbasov

 The_Island
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Остров (Тhe Island)
(Russia) Drama; released 2006
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Synopsis: Somewhere in Northern Russia in a small Russian Orthodox monastery lives a very unusual man. His fellow-monks are confused by his bizarre conduct. Those who visit the island believe that the man has the power to heal, exorcise demons and foretell the future. However, he considers himself unworthy because of a sin he committed in his youth. The film is a parable, combining the realities of Russian everyday life with monastic ritual and routine.

Director: Pavel Lungin
Starring: Pyotr Mamonov, Viktor Sukhorukov, Viktoriya Isakova, Yana Yesipovich, Dmitri Dyuzhev

 Master_Margarita
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Мастер и Маргарита (The Master and Margarita)
(Russia) Drama, Mystery, Romance; released 2005
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Synopsis: The "Master and Margaret" begins with two story lines: the Devil and his retinue show up to make mischief in 1930's Moscow while Matthew the Evangelist attempts to uncover the truth about Pontius Pilate and the Crucifixion of Jesus in Jerusalem in A. D. 33. Halfway through the novel, Bulgakov unveils a third story line set in Moscow, in which the love-stricken Margarita bargains with the Devil to be reunited with her lover, the Master, a tormented writer-hero who pines away in an insane asylum. Bulgakov gradually weaves the three scenarios together, all the while exercising devilish lampoonery and wit to satirize Soviet life under Stalin.

Director: Vladimir Bortko
Starring: Anna Kovalchuk, Aleksandr Galibin, Oleg Basilashvili, Vladislav Galkin, Kirill Lavrov

admiral
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Адмиралъ (Admiral)
(Russia) Drama, History, War; released 2008
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Synopsis: A biographical film about Alexander Kolchak, a Vice-Admiral in the Imperial Russian Navy and leader of the anti-communist White Movement during the Russian Civil War. The film also depicts the love triangle between the Admiral, his wife, and the poetess Anna Timireva.

Director: Andrey Kravchuk
Starring: Konstantin Khabenskiy, Elizaveta Boyarskaya, Sergey Bezrukov

The_Turkish_Gambit
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Турецкий Гамбит (The Turkish Gambit)
(Russia) War, Action, Adventure; released 2005
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Synopsis: The film is based on the second book from the Adventures of Erast Petrovich Fandorin series of novels written by the Russian author Boris Akunin. The film takes place in 1877 during the Russian-Turkish war. Erast Fandorin has just escaped from Turkish prison and is trying to get on the Russian side as soon as possible to give important information about the upcoming attack of the enemy. On his way he meets Varvara Suvorova, a young lady who is going to see her fiancée - a soldier of the Russian army. Erast also knows that there is a spy somewhere in the Russian army, everyone is under suspicion.

Director: Dzhanik Fayziev, Boris Akunin
Starring: Egor Beroev, Olga Krasko, Marat Basharov

12
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12
(Russia) Crime, Drama, Thriller; released 2007
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Synopsis: When a Chechen youth is put on trial for the murder of his stepfather, it's up to a room full of jurors divided by racism and prejudice to determine the boy's ultimate fate. One by one, each man takes center stage to confront, connect and confess while the accused awaits a verdict. Slowly the tide of opinion turns, as the jurors begin to realize their decision will forever change the course of another person's life. As they deliberate, the accused revisits his heartbreaking journey through war in a series of powerful flashbacks.

Director: Nikita Mikhalkov
Starring: Sergey Makovetskiy, Sergey Garmash, Apti Magamaev, Nikita Mikhalkov, Valentin Gaft


 More Films

More Films About Russia

Katyn 
Academy Award Nominee depicting the controversial WWII-era massacre that long tainted Russian-Polish relations.

Doctor Zhivago 
The classic film, remastered for its 45th anniversary.

Russian Ark 
This Russian-language Russian-directed film film depicting centuries of Russian history in an unbroken 90-minute shot that pans through the Hermitage became an instant classic after its release. Web Guide to Russian Ark provides footnotes to the popular movie.

 

American Films with Russian Content (and Vice Versa)
This list of films was put together by Ben Rifkin at the College of New Jersey as part of "a series of US and Russian films that depict both cultures."


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