IMDb > Prisoner of the Mountains (1996)
Kavkazskiy plennik
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Prisoner of the Mountains (1996) More at IMDbPro »Kavkazskiy plennik (original title)

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Release Date:
31 January 1997 (USA) See more »
An extraordinary story of hope, courage and humanity.
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 12 wins & 4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Bodrov Jr.-My people call him 'a babe' See more (26 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Oleg Menshikov ... Sacha Kostylin

Sergey Bodrov ... Ivan (Vanya) Zhilin
Jemal Sikharulidze ... Abdul-Murat
Susanna Mekhraliyeva ... Dina
Aleksandr Bureyev ... Hasan
Valentina Fedotova ... Zhilin's Mother

Aleksey Zharkov ... Maslov, the Russian Commander
T. Kibyev
Valeri Kostrin
Pavel Lebeshev (as P. Lebeshev)

Directed by
Sergei Bodrov  (as Sergey Bodrov)
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Arif Aliev 
Sergei Bodrov  (as Sergey Bodrov)
Boris Giller 
Leo Tolstoy  story (uncredited)

Produced by
Sergei Bodrov .... producer (as Sergey Bodrov)
Carolyn Cavallero .... producer
Boris Giller .... producer
Eduard Krapivsky .... producer
Original Music by
Leonid Desyatnikov 
Cinematography by
Pavel Lebeshev 
Film Editing by
Alan Baril 
Olga Grinshpun 
Vera Kruglova 
Production Design by
Valeri Kostrin 
Set Decoration by
Igor Morozov 
Costume Design by
Vera Romanova 
Makeup Department
Anna Mokasheva .... makeup artist
Production Management
Dmitriy Gavrishchenko .... production manager
Valerii Tarmosin .... production manager
Sound Department
Ekaterina Popova-Evans .... sound
Camera and Electrical Department
N. Brusov .... camera operator
Sergei Naugolnykh .... camera operator (as S. Naugolnykh)
O. Zhuravlyov .... camera operator
Music Department
Mina Blank .... music editor
I. Fyodorov .... musician: solo clarinet
Anatoli Gerasimov .... conductor
Andrei Kolotushkin .... conductor (as A. Kolotushin)
D. Kolotushkin .... conductor
Radzhab Radzhabov .... musician: solo harmonica
Sergey Skripka .... conductor
Other crew
François Vila .... press agent

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Kavkazskiy plennik" - Russia (original title)
See more »
Rated R for some violence and language
99 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

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


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25 out of 26 people found the following review useful.
Bodrov Jr.-My people call him 'a babe', 23 June 2000
Author: pang-5 from Prague, Czech Republic

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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