7.9/10
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The Children of Leningradsky (2005)

AIDS, drug abuse, police brutality, and other social ills in post-Soviet Russia.
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Storyline

Since the fall of the Iron Curtain an estimated four million children have found themselves living on the streets in the former countries of the Soviet Union. In the streets of Moscow alone there are over 30,000 surviving in this manner at the present time. The makers of the documentary film concentrated on a community of homeless children living hand to mouth in the Moscow train station Leningradsky. Eight-year-old Sasha, eleven-year-old Kristina, thirteen-year-old Misha and ten-year-old Andrej all dream of living in a communal home. They spend winter nights trying to stay warm by huddling together on hot water pipes and most of their days are spent begging. Andrej has found himself here because of disagreements with his family. Kristina was driven into this way of life by the hatred of her stepmother and twelve-year-old Roma by the regular beatings he received from his constantly drunk father. "When it is worst, we try to make money for food by prostitution," admits ... Written by Hanna Polak

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Genres:

Short | Documentary

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Details

Official Sites:

HBO [United States]

Country:

Poland

Language:

Russian

Release Date:

21 January 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A leningrádi pályaudvar gyermekei See more »

Filming Locations:

Moscow, Russia

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Color:

Color
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Connections

Featured in The 77th Annual Academy Awards (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Blood-chilling, terrifying...
9 May 2005 | by el_monty_BCNSee all my reviews

This is a warning: Approach this documentary with great care. Depicting the daily miseries of orphans of Moscow who lead lives that we could not imagine even in our worst nightmares, it is horror in its purest state, so heart-wrenching that you will have to make an effort to be able to watch it from start to finish without having to look away. Images that will probably haunt you for a long time, if not forever. God, I can feel my eyes welling up just remembering them... It is unbelievable that these horrors, which seem to be a tale from centuries ago, are allowed to take place every day, not just in this wretched 21st century world, but so close to us rich westerners, in a European city which has never been considered to be in "the third world".

Near the end, one of the characters says something like "God loves everybody, not just the Russians; he even loves the Chechens; but, most of all, he loves the children". It sounds to me like the best advice Mr. Putin could ever receive. And these words of wisdom don't come from a cultivated analyst, they come from an abandoned child who dwells in the streets of the same city he lives in...


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