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Prisoner of the Mountains (1996)
"Kavkazskiy plennik" (original title)

 -  Drama | War  -  31 January 1997 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 3,062 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 21 critic

Two Russian soldiers, one battle-seasoned and the other barely into his boots and uniform, are taken prisoner by an anxious Islamic father from a remote village hoping to trade them for his captured son.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 11 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Oleg Menshikov ...
Sacha Kostylin
Sergey Bodrov Jr. ...
Ivan (Vanya) Zhilin
Jemal Sikharulidze ...
Abdul-Murat
Susanna Mekhraliyeva ...
Dina
Aleksandr Bureyev ...
Hasan
Valentina Fedotova ...
Zhilin's Mother
Aleksei Zharkov ...
Maslov, the Russian Commander
T. Kibyev
Valeri Kostrin
Pavel Lebeshev ...
(as P. Lebeshev)
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Storyline

Based upon a short story by Leo Tolstoy, two Russian soldiers, Sacha and Vania, are ambushed by Muslim rebels in the grandly forbidding Caucasus and taken prisoner. Although complete understanding never fully emerges, their bittersweet ordeal reveals the human soul of two vastly different cultures. Written by Dawn M. Barclift

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

An extraordinary story of hope, courage and humanity.

Genres:

Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

31 January 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Prisoner of the Mountains  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$89,992 (USA) (7 February 1997)

Gross:

$661,361 (USA) (28 March 1997)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was shot within 20 miles of actual battles then occurring between Russians and Chechens. Local Muslim guerrillas served as bogyguards for the cast and crew. The film tells the story of two prisoners of war, but truth is stranger than fiction: when the guerrillas found out that amateur actress Susanna Mekhraliyeva was paid for her job in U.S. dollars they took the whole film crew prisoner! Her salary was soon changed for Russian rubles and the shooting continued as if nothing had happened. See more »

Goofs

After Sacha and Vanya escape and remove the shackles from their ankles, they begin running upstream. The scene cuts to a different angle, and they are running downstream. See more »

Quotes

Chechen Squad Leader: I was sure you would blow to pieces. It's your second birthday.
See more »

Soundtracks

GO DOWN MOSES
(trad)
Arranged by Harry Thacker Burleigh
Performed by Louis Armstrong
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User Reviews

 
strong, warm and humane
25 December 2000 | by (Helsinki, Finland) – See all my reviews

There are probably a lot of prejudices people have against Russian film. Mine were gone after I had seen this one.

"Kavkazskij plennik" is a film about a youth who's being sent to Chechnya to fight for the Russian army. He's together with another Russian soldier being captured in Chechnya by an older Chechnyan man who wants to change them for his own son, who's is being held by the Russians. There being locked into an old house high among the Caucasian mountains. Soon a friendship develops between them and young girl who brings them food and water.

This movie was made after and during the last months of the first Chechnyan war. Everybody's a victim and there is nothing to win in this war, specially for the Russians. It is just a matter of how much you lose. The persons in this film do not hate each other because their fighting on different sides. The Chechnyans probably hates what these Russian soldiers represent, but they know that this war isn't caused by these two Russians. They are both just a small, meaningless part of it. Russia does not give a damn about their lives, probably because it's leaders have lost the humane touch, while calculating their offensives. Lives have been reduced into numbers on white sheet. But there are people who care, even among the "enemies". Normal people still show respect for humanity.

The rhythm of the movie is great, it leaves the viewer enough time to think and also find the deeper thoughts from the movie. The music is well selected too, I just cant get that tune out of my head. This together with a realistic humane aspect gives this movie a strong pacifistic tune. Definitely worth to take a look at.


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