The Italian (2005)
"Italyanets" (original title)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  22 September 2005 (Russia)
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Set in 2002, an abandoned 5-year-old boy living in a rundown orphanage in a small Russian village is adopted by an Italian family.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Nikolay Spiridonov ...
Vanya Solntsev (as Kolya Spiridonov)
Mariya Kuznetsova ...
Nikolay Reutov ...
Yuriy Itskov ...
Denis Moiseenko ...
Andrey Elizarov ...
Aleksandr Sirotkin ...
Timokha (as Sasha Sirotkin)
Vladimir Shipov ...
Polina Vorobeva ...
Olga Shuvalova ...
Dmitriy Zemlyanko ...
Anton (as Dima Zemlyanko)
Darya Yugrens ...
Mama Mukhina (as Darya Lesnikova)
Rudolf Kuld ...
Tatyana Zakharova
Irina Osnovina ...


Vanya is a 6 year old orphan living in a rundown orphanage in a remote Russian village. For Vanya and the other children, life is without hope, unless, of course, they are adopted by wealthy foreigners. For Vanya, hope comes in the form of an Italian couple. But while arrangements are being made an incident occurs when the mother of another child appears, seeking her son. Vanya begins to wonder what would happen if his own mother reappeared, and he was living in Italy.With the assistance of older children, Vanya is able to access his records and find the possible whereabouts of his mother. He escapes and travels across the country, pursued by the adoption agents. Written by johnno.r[at]

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Based on the true story of a young Russian orphan who sets out to find his mother. See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence, sexual content, language and thematic issues | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





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Release Date:

22 September 2005 (Russia)  »

Also Known As:

The Italian  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$23,290 (USA) (19 January 2007)


$552,546 (USA) (22 June 2007)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| | (PAL DVD)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Russia's Official Submission to the Best Foreign Language Film Category of the 78th Annual Academy Awards (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

A Film of Great Beauty, Sadness and Heart
21 January 2007 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

I saw "The Italian" with a friend I have known for 40 years. He has two sons, now grown up. I could only think about how lucky they are. We and the entire audience were deeply affected by this story of the effects of poverty, abandonment, the market for children, and the inexplicable drive of boys to return to their mothers, even when they have been sent away by them. The performance of the little boy who plays the central character is astonishing, absolutely remarkable. The director is a magician. The desolation of person and of place is captured in such a way that disbelief is almost total that such things can still be ongoing in this world of great wealth, albeit selectively concentrated . All of the actors, all little boys, two young girls and a few young boys in their teens--all are so engaging that we are stunned by the loss their characters and the real little boys whose story the writer and director tell suffer. This is 2007, the film was finished in 2005 and set only three years earlier. We wonder, How can this happen to little boys, and girls? And what effects follow? We see some of those effects in the older children. Then one recalls that this sort of thing is not limited to Russia but is common here in the States and all over the world a reality--the turning of an unwanted life into dross by neglect and abandonment. Every mother and father should see this film and then go to their son and tell him how much they love him, and think about little boys languishing in orphanages. One wants to do something after seeing this film, anything to relieve such boys of their horrific fate. Their tenderness for each other is stressed by the filmmakers. This is something that bears remembering. When kids aren't taken care of, they do find ways of caring for each other. They are resourceful in face of neglect, punishments, indifference, poverty. But many fall to pieces.... That now and again one little boy MAY NOT have been destroyed utterly in this way, as suggested in this film, is the source of the film's beauty. The face of the little boy here is unforgettable. The suggestion of a life having been wasted reflects and is reflected by the setting. One can only ope that the film will be widely seen.

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Also about the end/confused vrf1
Extraordinary depiction of adoption world meagan312
question about story MrBlonde01
Why the change of heart? arynne
im confused..? marioz-1
Why were so many of the orphans boys? RoseLuca
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