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Est - Ouest (1999)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, History, Romance  |  1 September 1999 (France)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 3,720 users   Metascore: 61/100
Reviews: 50 user | 46 critic | 27 from Metacritic.com

June 1946: Stalin invites Russian emigres to return to the motherland. It's a trap: when a ship-load from France arrives in Odessa, only a physician and his family are spared execution or ... See full summary »

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(as Roustam Ibraguimbekov) , , 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Oleg Menshikov ...
Aleksei Golovin (as Oleg Menchikov)
...
Marie, his wife
...
Gabrielle Develay
Sergey Bodrov Jr. ...
Sasha Vasilyev (as Sergueï Bodrov Jr)
Ruben Tapiero ...
Seryozha, age 7
Erwan Baynaud ...
Seryozha, age 14
Grigori Manoukov ...
Pirogov
Tatyana Dogileva ...
Olga (as Tatiana Doguileva)
...
Colonel Boyko
Meglena Karalambova ...
Nina Fyodorovna
Atanass Atanassov ...
Viktor
Tania Massalitinova ...
Anastasia Aleksandrovna
...
Volodya Petrov
Nikolai Binev ...
Sergei Kozlov (as Nikolaï Binev)
René Féret ...
Ambassadeur de France
Edit

Storyline

June 1946: Stalin invites Russian emigres to return to the motherland. It's a trap: when a ship-load from France arrives in Odessa, only a physician and his family are spared execution or prison. He and his French wife (her passport ripped up) are sent to Kiev. She wants to return to France immediately; he knows that they are captives and must watch every step. By chance, she meets a touring French actress and pleads for help. She also takes a young swimmer under her wing, and several years later, he makes a bold attempt to escape. Meanwhile, the KGB is suspicious, and hope for freedom is dim. Patience, her husband's self control, and her good looks may be their only assets. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

french | france | swimmer | russian | kgb | See All (29) »

Genres:

Drama | History | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violence and brief sensuality | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

| | | |

Language:

|

Release Date:

1 September 1999 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Este/Oeste  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$56,147 (USA) (7 April 2000)

Gross:

$2,775,520 (USA) (29 September 2000)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The two main Russian actors (Oleg Menshikov and Sergey Bodrov Jr.) do not speak French. They memorized all the lines phonetically. See more »

Goofs

When Marie goes to the KGB building in Kiev and Alexei finds her there, persuading her to leave, the viewer can read a sign on the building that says, in Cyrillic letters, "Ministerstvo na..." This is a Bulgarian genitive construction, meaning "The Ministry of..." The only Slavic languages that show the genitive case in this fashion are Bulgarian and Macedonian. The genitive case is marked differently in Russian and Ukrainian, which shows that the "KGB" building could not actually have been in Kiev. This makes sense because the film was partially shot in Bulgaria. See more »

Connections

Featured in Femme Fatale (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Cinematic Gesamtkunskwerk
11 September 2000 | by (Greensboro, NC) – See all my reviews

The cathartic nature of this film was such that found myself unable even to cry until the credits began their long slow march across the screen, and even then getting up out of my seat was not an option. I don't think any other film has made such a profound and immediate impact on me.

Set in the years following Stalin's invitation to former expatriates to return to their native Russia –a call many answered, blissfully unaware of the dire consequences their decision would have- it is filled with the Russian spirit that sees people stubbornly persevering, and touched with the French one that not only looks for escape but insists upon it.

Some films would be rendered incomprehensible simply by the sheer amount of quiet action that here, thankfully, only adds to the audience's investment in the film, without losing focus. It was unquestionably the best film I have seen in recent memory. It is the closest I have ever felt to experiencing a Gesamtkunstwerk in a movie theatre.


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