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Brother (1997)
"Brat" (original title)

 -  Crime | Drama  -  8 July 1998 (USA)
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 8,287 users  
Reviews: 40 user | 15 critic

An ex-soldier with a personal honor code enters the family crime business in St. Petersburg, Russia.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sergey Bodrov Jr. ...
Danila Bagrov (as Sergey Bodrov)
Viktor Sukhorukov ...
Danila's Brother
Svetlana Pismichenko ...
Sveta
Mariya Zhukova ...
Kat
Yuriy Kuznetsov ...
German
Vyacheslav Butusov ...
Butusov
Irina Rakshina ...
Zinka
Sergey Murzin ...
Krugly
Anatoliy Zhuravlyov ...
Nervous Bandit
Igor Shibanov ...
Militiaman
Andrey Fedortsov ...
Styopa
Sergey Debizhev ...
Sergey Debizhev (as Sergey Debezhev)
Aleksei Sevostyanov
Rinat Ibragimov ...
(as Renat Ibragimov)
Vladimir Ermilov
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Storyline

Newly discharged from the army, Danila goes to his older brother - a gangster and a killer - to start a new life in St. Petersburg where he's soon situated in the criminal world and asked to kill someone. There his new life starts. He meets new people, including a girl, and becomes a big fan of the rock band "Nautilus Pompillius," but now he is a killer, and realizing killing is easier for him than living makes him understand he is going the wrong way. Written by Max Volovik <dimaa@worldnet.att.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

8 July 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Brother  »

Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Chechen speaks Ossetian. See more »

Goofs

When Kruglij talks to Sveta for the first time, the camera is reflected in the windscreen of the tram that Sveta is driving. See more »

Quotes

Danila: [two Chechens in tram refuse to pay the fare and act arrogantly. Danila takes out his revolver, walks up to the Chechens and points the barrel at them] Pay the fine.
Chechen in tram car: Brother... Don't kill me, brother... Take the money. Take everything. Listen, don't kill me, brother. Here.
[gives his wallet to Danila]
Danila: You're not my brother, black-assed scum.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Brother 2 (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Posle dozhdya
Music by Vyacheslav Butusov
Lyrics by Ilya Kormiltsev
Performed by Nautilus Pompilius (uncredited)
Exclusive rights - DANA Music Limited, Ireland
Played after Danila meets his brother
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Russians!
17 May 2010 | by (Baltimore) – See all my reviews

You will be marinated in Russian-ness after watching this gritty crime drama shot in St. Petersburg. Set in the early 1990s after the fall of Soviet communism, it's a movie whose co-star is the place. The crime and gunplay in the foreground, which cropped up after the collapse of stern authority, seems to perfectly match what we see in the background -- trash-strewn streets, grimy flats, drug-fueled nightclubs. Everyone is poor or barely getting by. Even the gangsters, who you'd think would have some Scarface-type perks, seem to live in squalor.

One thing that will instantly strike you is how everyone in the movie looks like someone you know, not a Hollywood star. I want to call particular attention to Svetlana Pismichenko, the film's love interest, who plays the driver of a streetcar that hauls lumber (?). She's not pretty at all, but you see the love she is capable of and, all I can say is I wish she were my girlfriend. Her last scene is one of the most memorable portraits of heartbreak I have ever seen. She has incredible eyes.

Sergei Bodrov plays the lead, a soldier just back from Chechnya who is drawn into his brother's gangland activities. We never see a flashback of what happened over there and, when asked by others in the film what he did, grins and said he was a clerk in HQ. As we come to see the fearlessness and ruthlessness he is capable of, it is obvious he is lying. This man is steel tempered in a furnace. His gangster enemies are no match for a man with his willingness to prepare for and face death.

I've never been to Russia, but I lived in the Czech Republic for three years and I can testify to the authenticity of this movie's backdrop. When the Iron Curtain fell, it revealed decaying rust belt cities, but also a tough-minded population of attractive and spirited people who, somehow, found ways to be happy in tough times. I am American and half Polish, and this movie made me proud to be a Slav.

A scene in the movie is a homage to Russian good cheer. It is a party in a Russian flat where a few dozen people are chatting, eating, smoking pot, drinking vodka, singing along to a guitar, shooting pool and having fun. They're all young people in their 20's. You'll wish you were at that party.


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