A loose remake of 12 Angry Men (1957), set in a Russian school. 12 jurors are struggling to decide the fate of a Chechen teenager who allegedly killed his Russian stepfather who took the teenager to live with him in Moscow during the Chechen War in which teenager lost his parents. The jurors: a racist taxi-driver, a suspicious doctor, a vacillating TV producer, a Holocaust survivor, a flamboyant musician, a cemetery manager, and others represent the fragmented society of modern day Russia. A stray bird (a touch of New Age cinema) is flying above the jurors' heads, alluding to tolerance.Written by
The movie has an epigraph ("Don't look here for the truth of everyday life, but try to feel the truth of being") and an epilogue ("The law comes before everything, but what's to be done if the mercy comes before the law?"). Both are quotations from one B. Tosia. Most probably, he (or she) never lived and is the fictional alter ego of Nikita Mikhalkov. See more »
"Ernest Emerson" is a manufacturer of knives from the USA. However their model, CQC7, is not like the knife on the film. Emerson knives are folding knives. See more »
"In a scene showing a Chechen town the writing on the wall says "Don't shoot. Only women and children here" but only in Russian. In Chechnia all signs like that were written in three languages - Russian, Chechen and Arabic because Middle Eastern mercenaries participating the conflict could not read in Russian. Besides, it's difficult to believe someone would put such a sign and thus indicate there is SOMEONE in there." In Russia EVERYTHING is believable, that's what Nikita Mikhalkov wants to say. This movie is a fiction, don't forget it! But all the stories told in it are possible and the way of thinking of these people may be hard to understand, but it's true. This film is a cut through the Russian Soul and it's great.
28 of 49 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this