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House of Fools (2002)
"Dom durakov" (original title)

7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 2,117 users   Metascore: 52/100
Reviews: 30 user | 21 critic | 23 from Metacritic.com

In the midst of the Chechen War, a remote psychiatric institution is left without staff leaving the patients to fend for themselves. Based on a true story.

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Title: House of Fools (2002)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Zhanna
Evgeniy Mironov ...
Officer
Sultan Islamov ...
Ahmed
Stanislav Varkki ...
Ali
Elena Fomina ...
Lucy
Marina Politseymako ...
Vika
Rasmi Dzhabrailov ...
Makhmud
Vladimir Fyodorov ...
Karlusha
Vladas Bagdonas ...
Doctor
Anatoli Adoskin ...
Fucue
Gevorg Ovakimyan ...
Goga (as Georgi Ovakimyan)
Ruslan Naurbiyev ...
Chechen Commander Vakhid
...
Himself
...
Lithuanian Sharpshooter
Tigranui Chakryan ...
Karapetovna
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Storyline

The war film that's not a war film. A film about the mental institution which backdrop is the Chechen war. A story about the patients living in an institution during the war on the border of Chechnia and Russia during the war. The patients have to continue living their day to day life after being invaded twice over, and they have to deal with their sicknesses. Written by Roza Thompson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Music | Romance | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some violence and nudity | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

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Release Date:

6 December 2002 (Russia)  »

Also Known As:

Casa de Loucos  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$7,246 (USA) (25 April 2003)

Gross:

$57,722 (USA) (8 August 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

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Did You Know?

Connections

References King of Hearts (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman
(Bryan Adams) / Robert John Lange / Michael Kamen)
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User Reviews

 
Masterpiece!
25 May 2004 | by (Tampere (Finland)) – See all my reviews

I saw this film yesterday and I'm still under the impression. It was overwhelming. All is brilliant -- plot, acting, images, music...

Certainly, there are motifs from other films -- "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (for example, the episode when the inmate break out of the asylum), "Dancer in the Dark" (the dreams of Janna) -- but they are organically interwoven in the canvass of Konchalovsky's film.

This oeuvre, like other films by Andrei Konchalovsky, is a result of a happy amalgamation, a synthesis of Western and Russian cinema traditions, which does not happen often.

The film is profoundly artistic and at the same time realistic. This is achieved not least by a careful choice of details. For example, in the background, in the TV screen, you see Boris Yeltsin, the Russian ex-President who started this dirty war, and his corrupt Minister of Defence Pavel Grachov ("Pasha Mercedes").

The verbal language is also true to life. The personages, in particular the Russian military, use quite a few of Russian 'four-letter words', and here the use of such words is fully justified.

I saw the films in a DVD edition (Paramount Classics, 2003) and the only disappointment was the subtitles. The English translation is sometimes too inexact and leaves too much dialogue untranslated. This needs to be corrected in the subsequent edition.

Of course, the best is to see the film in Russian. But even if you do not speak Russian, try to see this film, because it is a masterpiece of a universal value, which transcends the language barriers. Watch it with an open mind.

I wish that all Russians had the chance too see 'The House of Fools'. Then, probably, their perception of the Chechen people would change for the better, and it would also bring them to a reflection about the war in the Caucasus, which is both Russia's crime and illness, and how the country could overcome it.

Thank you Mr. Konchalovsky, thank you all who made this excellent film! 10/10


22 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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