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.
A band of young musicians is looking for fees across the steppe in an ramshackle old bus. During their tour, starving, they kill a cow but they don't know what to do with it. They will also... See full summary »
During the bloody war in Chechnya, a British couple and two Russian soldiers are taken hostage by Chechen rebels. Two of the hostages are then released to bring the money for the British woman who is forced to wait for the ransom.
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
So much for the silly, honest summary. I've seen it twice but both times on t.v. and, both times, with Czech subtitles. Not being Czech, I have a slightly sticky time watching foreign films here. Despite these disadvantages, I love this film. The acting is superior to anything I've seen recently. And, of course, you know, I've a weakness for Bodrov Jr. (Vanja.) While following his somewhat shy and innocent character, you run up against Mensikov (Sasha) playing a professional soldier who knows probability and gusto at the same time. This is not your common Hollywood 'let's throw two opposites together and create tension.' They've been taken hostage by Sikharulidze (Abdul, in a performance of great strength and restraint) hoping to exchange them for his son (a captive of the Russians.) This is war but on the ground where its victims live. There is an immense respect for the lives of the Kavkaske people. The music, customs, faith, food and lives of these tough families is shown without judgment. How damned refreshing. I recommend this film to anyone who likes a fine story, excellent acting, stunning cinematography and mesmerizing music.
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