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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 2,958 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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Title: Prisoner of the Mountains (1996)

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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 is an update of Leo Tolstoy's short story "The Prisoner of the Caucasus." 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

Dina: You are like a dog now. It's not a shame for a dog to smell bad.
See more »

Soundtracks

NA SOPKAKH MANCHZHURII
Written by Igor Shatrov, A. Mashistov
Performed by Ivan Kozlovsky
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Predictable And Simplistic
9 January 2011 | by (Isle Of Bute , Scotland) – See all my reviews

Without doubt the dirtiest war of the late 20th Century was the war in Chechnya . It was actually two wars from 1994to 1996 and flared up in to a second war that lasted from 1999 to 2007 and even today there's acts of sporadic violence . The wars have cost the Russians as much as 8,000 military while the Chechens themselves may have lost 250,000 people both combatants and civilian , a quarter of the population of Chechnya . The worst thing is neither can claim any moral high ground . The Chechens may claim to be victims of genocide but any resistance that involves massacring civilians at Russian schools , cinemas and hospitals has a hard time of claiming victim hood

The most compelling account of the conflict comes from the pen of Arkady Babchenko in his book One Soldier's War In Chechnya . It tells of his time as a conscript in the Russian army in the first war and of his time as a regular volunteer in the second war . What quickly becomes apparent is what a brutal institution the Russian army is . Recruits spend the first year of their service under " the rule of the grandfathers " soldiers in their second year where recruits are subject to effective slavery at its most brutal and unrelenting which will shock anyone who has any military understanding

PRISONER OF THE MOUNTAINS is set during the first Chechen war where two Russian soldiers , Sgt Kostylin and Private Zhilin , are captured by rebels . The film does allude to the structural gulf between an experienced soldier like Kostylin and a recruit like Zhilin , the older soldier doesn't believe the Chechens will trade the recruit because he's unimportant to the Russian army but this is quickly forgotten about as the film moves in to predictable and simplistic territory that states that no matter the conflict and the uniforms we wear we are all human beings caught up in situations made by others

It's a well enough made film but by the same token there's nothing outstanding about it either . There's also the problem that if you've read Babchenko's book featuring the very real atrocities each side has committed against the other - in fact each side also commits atrocities on their own - then it does have a rather Walt Disney feel


9 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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