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Ward No. 6 (2009)

Palata N°6 (original title)
Simultaneously nihilistic and heartening, Ward No. 6 is based on a story by Chekov, in which a psychiatric doctor becomes a patient in his own asylum. Updated to contemporary Russia, the ... See full summary »

Writers:

(screenplay), (short story) | 1 more credit »
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4 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vladimir Ilin ...
Aleksey Vertkov ...
Aleksandr Pankratov-Chyornyy ...
Evgeniy Stychkin ...
Viktor Solovyov ...
...
Old chief physician
Albina Evtushevskaya ...
Darya
Anna Sinyakina ...
(as A.Sinyakina)
Alina Olshanskaya ...
(as A.Olshanskaya)
Stanislov Eventov ...
(as S.Eventov)
Dmitriy Gusev ...
(as D.Gusev)
Oleg Shapko ...
(as O.Shapko)
Ye. Golyandin
Yu. Soroka
S. Semenkova
Edit

Storyline

Simultaneously nihilistic and heartening, Ward No. 6 is based on a story by Chekov, in which a psychiatric doctor becomes a patient in his own asylum. Updated to contemporary Russia, the film is a cocktail of anxieties and riddles, showcasing how easy it is to become what we fear most. Written by Pusan International Film Festival

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 November 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ward No. 6  »

Company Credits

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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Russia's official submission to the Best Foreign Language Film Category of the 82th Annual Academy Awards (2010). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Vladimir Kozlov: Vladimir Vladimirovich Kozlov, born in 1979, on August 15.
Interviewer: For how many years have you lived here?
Vladimir Kozlov: This is... the fifth year.
Interviewer: Where did you live before you came to this nursing home?
See more »

Connections

Version of ITV Playhouse: If Only the Trains Come (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

AKAPULKO
Performed by Laima Vaikule
Music by Igor Krutoy (as I. Krutoy)
Lyrics by Viktor Pelenyagre (as V. Pelenyagre)
Played at the New Year party
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User Reviews

 
Chekov in a Contemporary Context
31 October 2009 | by (Mumbai,India) – See all my reviews

The film begins with a long prologue in which real life inmates of an asylum are interviewed. When asked about their dream they answer it is to leave the asylum and lead a normal life. Based on Anton Chekov's short story of the same name, Ward No. 6 narrates the tale of Doctor Ragin, who is more of a philosopher than a psychiatric doctor. Spending half his salary on books the reluctant doctor loves to read and have intelligent conversations. Feeling suffocated in the small town he is soon drawn to an intelligent patient in the mental ward suffering from paranoid delusions. He starts spending more and more time in the mental ward and neglects his other duties. The only intelligent conversation the doctor can have in the town is with an insane patient in the mental ward. Getting increasingly disengaged from reality, Doctor Ragin finds himself tricked into being made a patient and confined in the same mental ward, where he awaits death and freedom.

This simple story raises complex questions in our mind. What is insanity? Who defines it? The director narrates Chekov's story in a semi documentary fashion. It doesn't work too well and leaves us rather indifferent to Doctor Ragin's predicament. But I think this form of narration serves the purpose of setting Chekov's story in the contemporary context. The haunting New Year's eve dance sequence is comical yet so chilling! How easily does the State machinery makes its citizens fall in line. What if the State is a lunatic asylum? Thought provoking question for citizens who live under dictatorial regimes!

The film ends with a very intriguing sequence in which a woman who lived next door to Doctor Ragin is being interviewed. Her younger child cannot suppress her laughter and the camera lingers long over her face and that of her sister. Is it laughter of innocence or mischief? The viewer has to make his own judgement.


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