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Afghan Breakdown (1991)

Afganskiy izlom (original title)
The film opens with a scene of an Islamic circumcision. After the opening credits, a line of Mujahedin are shown approaching a roadway where a squad of Soviet soldiers has been slaughtered.... See full synopsis »


Vladimir Bortko
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Michele Placido ... Major Mikhail Bandura
Tatyana Dogileva ... Katya
Mikhail Zhigalov ... Lieutenant Colonel
Filipp Yankovskiy ... Nikita Steklov
Aleksey Serebryakov ... Sergeant Arsyonov - Russian Rambo
Nina Ruslanova ... Tatyana
Nikolai Ustinov Nikolai Ustinov ... Vasya Onisimov
Rinat Ibragimov Rinat Ibragimov ... Denis Popov
Khoshim Rakhimov Khoshim Rakhimov ... Gulakhan (as Khashim Rakhimov)
Kiem Yakub Kiem Yakub ... Gulakhan's Son
Artur Uvarov Artur Uvarov ... Ivanov
Yuriy Kuznetsov ... Shchup
Viktor Proskurin ... Simakov
Sergei Isavnin ... Sedykh
Muso Isoyev Muso Isoyev ... Adil


The film opens with a scene of an Islamic circumcision. After the opening credits, a line of Mujahedin are shown approaching a roadway where a squad of Soviet soldiers has been slaughtered. They dispatch the lone Soviet survivor with a knife. Soviet reinforcements arrive, and the guerrillas are defeated. As one of them is being interrogated, Major Bandura appears. On Bandura's orders, the prisoner is thrown into a truck which is then soaked with petroleum and set ablaze. After reporting the incident, Bandura meets a green new junior officer, a son of top brass transferred from Czechoslovakia. Bandura is amused by the kid's enthusiasm. Bandura negotiates some R and R for his weary company. He strikes a deal with an Afghani businessman named Gulakhan to provide his men with his women-medics from camp hospital for a trip to town and back to their base. While in the town, a newly arrived, green recruit shoots and kills a street merchant. Major Bandura calmly puts a pistol in the dead ...

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Did You Know?


The film was released in four parts on television. See more »


Remade as Leaving Afghanistan (2019) See more »


Black Tulip
Music and Words by Aleksandr Rozenbaum (as A. Rozenbaum)
Performed by Aleksandr Rozenbaum
Courtesy of Kvadro-Disk (Quadro-Disk)
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User Reviews

Psychologically-deep but tactically-shallow war film
14 April 2005 | by heat48089See all my reviews

Well, the movie is basically about the last days of a specific Russian regiment stationed in Afghansitan, before the main troop withdrawal in 1985. The movie accurately portrays the grim realities of Russian army that have made it infamous: "dedovshina" (officers and NCOs physically harassing, beating and humiliating younger recruits), mixed character of war (you can trade with your enemy one day and kill him the next), life of women at the front lines, documentary footages of helicopter assaults, and coffins being soldered and sent home in heave C-130 Hercules class Russian cargo planes with tracer to jam Stinger missiles, fatigue, boredom, anti-war sentiment, emotional side simply put. The there's some action scenes, but they are poorly done, and often are illogical, like Major Bandura's suicidal walk and turning of his back to 10-year-old kid armed with AK-47 who's father he just killed. Also the fact that in the middle of firefight in the mountains heavy grenade launcher pops out of nowhere (and any half-bright person knows that it's virtually impossible to hump 40-50 lns launcher on the march anyone). But at the same time films shows that war is a dirty affair, where murder is sometimes condoned, wanton destruction of whole villages for little or no reason is normal, indiscriminate killing of civilians is overlooked as collateral damage inevitable during war... Some food for thought as to why Afghan war as lost.. Not the best war movie made, but profound and intelligent enough to be worth watching.

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Soviet Union | Italy


Russian | Italian

Release Date:

April 1992 (Russia) See more »

Also Known As:

Afghan Breakdown See more »

Filming Locations:

Crimea, Ukraine See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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