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.
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.
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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
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 »
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 »
One might assume that the title refers only to the two Russian soldiers taken hostage by villagers in the Caucasus. But the Russian army has the village surrounded, so the townspeople are also prisoners. Moreover, each side is a prisoner of their own hate: the Russians can't see the villagers as humans and the villagers can't see the Russians as humans, thereby continuing the cycle of hate. Even the village elder is a prisoner of tradition: he uses a ceremonial knife for something in which he could have used a gun.
All in all, "Kavkazskiy plennik" (called "Prisoner of the Mountains" in English) is a very well done movie. Oleg Menshikov and Sergei Bodrov Jr. do very well with their roles, and the situation in Chechnya makes the movie all the more relevant.
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