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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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In 1946, a soldier fathers a child then dies before its birth. Jump to 1952: on a train, the child and his mother meet a handsome soldier who makes a play for her. She accepts. Posing as a married family, the soldier finds them a rooming house where he becomes everyone's favorite through his good looks and generosity. Meanwhile he gives the boy, Sanya, lessons in life: to fight back, to win at all costs. The child's mother, Katya, is head-over-heels in love with Tolyan, the soldier, but the relationship becomes rocky when Tolyan's true plans for the rooming house become clear. It starts them on a treadmill of flight that risks Katya's life, Tolyan's liberty, and Sanya's trust. Written by
Sanya - 48 Years Old:
I was born right after the war, in 1946. My mother was going to the village where her relatives lived and gave birth to me right on the road. I never saw my father. He was covered with wounds when he returned from the war and died six months before I was born, but throughtout my childhood I kept thinking of him, trying to imagine him.
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"Vor" will undoubtedly become a classic of Russian cinema in a few years.
First, this was both written and directed by the great Russian filmmaker Pavel Chukhrai! It's a tender pseudo-autobiographical account of life during the last years in Stalinist USSR. An interesting theme in this movie is that of the "father-figure"...and Stalin as a "father-figure" to the Soviet Union. You don't necessarily have to be familiar with the political context of the film, but it definitely makes it all the more poignant and heart-breaking if you are.
Vladi Mashkov is superb as the charming "soldier" who, not accidentally, has Comrade Stalin tattooed on his chest. Whether Toljian symbolizes a strong-yet-corrupt Stalin and whether Katja and Sasha represent the disenchanted Russian populus, that's up to you to decide. But see it!
Look at "Vor" from the allegorical and political level and it's strikingly true. Look at "Vor" from the emotional and tragic level and it's strikingly true. This movie is deep, painful, and of course riddled with truth. That's why it's so powerful! Of course, the acting and direction show this truth off so vividly. I have to say, once again, that Mashkov proves to be an actor of amazing caliber, expression, and beauty.
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