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Films From Russia

From its explosive beginning, Ilya Khrzhanovsky's 4 will satisfy those with an eye for the imaginative and an ear for the industrial. This unique and enigmatic Tiger Award-winning debut is based on a story by controversial author Vladimir Sorokin, who co-wrote the screenplay with Khrzhanovsky. The ... Read more
"A Russian man regularly travels through the towns and villages of Japan. He observes and listens to the conversations of ordinary Japanese people, looks at the cities, reads about the history of the country. Every time he goes back to Russia his thoughts are dominated by what he has seen. He has ... Read more
"A bracingly fast-paced, broad-brush allegorical satire of 1990s Russia as a near-lawless dystopia of greedy immorality." - Hollywood Reporter ... Once a Soviet war hero, 'The Major' now spends his days quietly in a St. Petersburg boiler room, shovelling coal and working on his novel. But coal ... Read more
Adam's Rib is a jewel of a film whose charm sneaks up on you. Soon you find yourself wanting to spend hours and hours in the com­pany of the people that the director exposes with such delicate and refined touches. Soviet cinema is not known for its intimate human insights, yet Krichtofovitch ... Read more
“Alexandra presents war for what it is: brutal, crushing, and ugly.” - Variety Filmmaker Alexander Sokurov (The Sun at MIFF 06, Russian Ark) casts an austere gaze over war-torn Chechnya with this simple tale of a woman who visits her grandson at his army base. Starring octogenarian Galina ... Read more
In winter the Arctic fishing settlement of Shoina is blanketed by polar night; in summer, endless windstorms cover the settlement in sand. This film is a metaphysical reflection about Russia: the role of the state, endless hardships, the freedom longed for by millions of Russians and their ... Read more
... ... Ddicated to "all those who were burnt by the betraying sun of the revolution", this master­ful display of bravura filmmaking by director Niki­ta Mikhaikov (Close to Eden, Slave of Love, Oblomov) is a tale of tragic grandeur told through the deli­cate palette of a single summer's ... Read more
"In its lawlessness and chaos, the Russia of 1984 was every bit as grotesque as anything dreamed up in the realms of modernist fiction." - Screen Daily ... Set on the eve of Perestroika, Cargo 200 reveals a society contaminated by violence, where rape and kidnapping are rife and men drink ... Read more
“Jean-Baptiste Léonetti's mesmerizing first feature recalls the bitingly literate social commentary of Albert Camus, Aldous Huxley and Franz Kafka… with a little Terry Gilliam (circa Brazil) thrown in for good measure.” - Smells Like Screen Spirit ... In a dystopian future that frowns ... Read more
The story of Marija, a poor post-Soviet pensioner struggling to adapt to the accelerated culture of the 90s. A deft blend of documentary and fiction - Marija is played by a real pensioner, Lidija Kovtun, and her life formed the basis of the script - this film gradually draws the viewer in to the ... Read more
There are few signs of modern society on the vast, rolling steppes of China's inner Mongolia. The uninterrupted greens and yellows of the gently slopmg hills meet the endlessly blue horizon. Here director Nikita Mikhalkov (best known in the West for Dark Eyes) reaches deep into the heart of a world ... Read more
... ... There are no food queues in Cloud Heaven; no demonstrations against a tyrannical despot, nor even the slightest hint of a 'people-power' coup. The Russia of Cloud Heaven is far more mundane and hum-drum than that, Ifs a desolate suburb on the outskirts of Moscow on a drab, despondent Sunday ... Read more
Reviews some of the work of the Russian physiologist, Ivan Pavlov, whose experiments with conditioned reflexes paved the way to a better understanding of human and animal behaviour. Demonstrates difference between instinct and reflex condition. ... Read more
A young man who is born to happiness is foiled when his over-zealous parents buy him a contrabass (double bass). Will he ever escape its oppressive influence and know happiness once again? From the director of Poste Restante (MIFF 2001). ... Read more
“Why does the wind blow? To cover our tracks, so no-one knows we're still alive.” This second instalment in the epic, special-effects-congested, Russian trilogy sees writer-director Timur Bekmambetov of the award-winning Night Watch return in full force with an ancient battle between light and ... Read more
"More arthouse than grindhouse... spiced with a mordant sense of humor." - Twitch ... Filmmaker Pavel Ruminov's first feature ushers in a new age in contemporary Russian horror films. His constantly moving camera prowls a dank and barren Moscow, the perfect backdrop for this spooky-as-hell ghost ... Read more
Filmed in a single take, Alexander Sokurov's remarkable [Russian Ark] captured the imaginations of film-goers everywhere. This narrator of Russian culture and spirit takes us back to St Petersburg in his beautiful and aurally inspired[ Diary of St Petersburg - Mozart . Requiem]. "The first night ... Read more
Real life characters make up the cast of Dolce. They include celebrated Japanese author Toshio Shimao, who died in 1986, his widow and their daughter. The film serves as a framework to underline deep insights into the family's history. The main narrative line is comprised of the lyrical monologues ... Read more
"A wise and impeccably controlled drama that finds Russian helmer Andrey Zvyagintsev in outstanding form." - Variety ... Elena dotes on her selfish, wealthy husband Vladimir and lives a lonely life surrounded by luxury in a sterile, ultra-modern penthouse. But when the aging Vladimir informs Elena ... Read more
A long-awaited sequel and the most expensive Russian film ever made. ... Burnt by the Sun claimed both the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film and the Cannes Grand Prix in 1994. It took eight years to produce the film's follow-up - allegedly so filmmaker Nikita Mikhalkov could let his actors age ... Read more
An attempt to export the hit US TV show Everybody Loves Raymond to Russia makes for a front row seat to a comedic culture-clash. ... Everybody loves Raymond, but can the love extend to far Eastern Europe? Writer-director Phil Rosenthal, who created the hugely successful American sitcom, explores ... Read more
“Good doesn't exist, but evil does.” ... Goethe's version of the Faust legend gets a dense and idiosyncratic reinterpretation at the hands of Russian master Aleksander Sokurov (Russian Ark) ... Soaked in an intoxicating cascade of imagery reminiscent of the Dutch masters, the story of one man's ... Read more
As the forces of the Third Reich clash with the Red Army on the Eastern Front, a hidden war is waged between Nazi occultists and a Russian psychic. ... In 1942, as Nazi Germany marches on the Russian homeland, Nadya, the lone survivor of a secret organisation of teenage Soviets with supernatural ... Read more
A study of the natural beauty and rich textures of the Earth's surface seen from space. Accompanied by the music of Gennadiy Gladkov. ... Read more
A pastoral fantasy of a world which never existed, but remains an ideal in many people's hopes. ... Read more
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