Based on A. Galych's play "Matrosskaya Tishina", "Papa" tells a story of a Jewish father who dreamed of seeing his son perform on a stage in front of huge audiences, he dreamed of seeing ... See full summary »
Two Russian soldiers, one battle-seasoned and the other barely into his boots and uniform, are taken prisoner by an anxious Islamic father from a remote village hoping to trade them for his captured son.
The beauty of this movie is that you, as the reader of the subtitles, are the only one who knows what is going on. The woman and the two men all speak different languages. It is a comedy of errors up until the end.
Nikolai (played by Sergei Dontsov) has been fired from his job as a music teacher and has to live in the gym until he finds a place to stay. Finally, he gets a communal room in the ... See full summary »
The year is 1946. World War II is over, but it doesn't mean that there is no one to fight with. The post-war city of Odessa is ruled by serial killer prison-escapees and former Nazi ... See full summary »
Watch the exploits of three young romantics as they dance around St. Petersburg, Russia, getting themselves involved in everything from a soccer riot to a rainstorm to a fight between best ... See full summary »
Third film based on Boris Akunin's "Priklucheniya Erasta Petrovicha Fandorina" series of novels. On a train from St. Petersburg to Moscow general Khrapov was killed and no one else but ... See full summary »
In 1946, a soldier fathers a child then dies before its birth. Jump to 1952: on a train, the child and his mother meet a handsome soldier who makes a play for her. She accepts. Posing as a married family, the soldier finds them a rooming house where he becomes everyone's favorite through his good looks and generosity. Meanwhile he gives the boy, Sanya, lessons in life: to fight back, to win at all costs. The child's mother, Katya, is head-over-heels in love with Tolyan, the soldier, but the relationship becomes rocky when Tolyan's true plans for the rooming house become clear. It starts them on a treadmill of flight that risks Katya's life, Tolyan's liberty, and Sanya's trust.Written by
[All trivia items for this title are spoilers.]
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Sanya - 48 Years Old:
I was born right after the war, in 1946. My mother was going to the village where her relatives lived and gave birth to me right on the road. I never saw my father. He was covered with wounds when he returned from the war and died six months before I was born, but throughtout my childhood I kept thinking of him, trying to imagine him.
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The Russian release features an additional 14 minutes at the end which depict Sanya as an adult. After he shoots Tolyan, the film cuts directly to modern times where Sanya is a colonel of the Russian army. He explains that he has had to kill many times since that day and that his profession justifies it. In a war-torn village, he mistakes an old man for Tolyan. He embraces the old vagrant, who dies in his arms. Upon inspection of his back, he finds that there is no Panther tattoo. It is not Tolyan. As he leaves the village in his own personal staff car, he takes off his shirt. At this point Russian audiences see for the first time that Sanya has a Panther tattoo identical to Tolyan's on his back. (Some non-Russian versions finished the film with a shot of Sanya at 12 lying in his bunk with this tattoo. Russians did not see that scene.) The original Russian version ends with a flashback to Sanya at 6 peering out the window of the train and seeing his father waving to him on the back of a passing railcar. It is rumored that 'Pavel Chukhraj' cut the non-Russian versions for two reasons. First, he wanted to make it shorter and more attractive to foreign critics and film festivals. He also felt it might confuse and complicate the meaning of the film for viewers not familiar with modern Russia. See more »
This is one of the most ambitious films I have ever seen done; it is an extremely painful movie to watch in places, beautifully photographed, with understated direction that does not get in the way of the story.
A lot will be lost on the small screen, but if you enjoy foreign films (or films in general) you will not find a better one than this. If you are in the mood for lighthearted entertainment, do not rent this film; you will feel sad for a long time after it ends. (It is a Russian story, after all.) Images from the film are guaranteed to haunt for a long time; it reminds the viewer of the power film can have to affect an audience.
Nine stars for me.
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