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The First Circle 

V kruge pervom (original title)
"V kruge pervom" is a ten-episode TV-series based on the autobiographical book 'The First Circle' by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Film is set in 1949-1950, in Moscow and in a prison-laboratory ... See full summary »




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Series cast summary:
Evgeniy Mironov ...  Gleb Nerzhin 10 episodes
Dmitriy Pevtsov ...  Innokenti Volodin 10 episodes
Sergey Karyakin Sergey Karyakin ...  Dmitry Sologdin 10 episodes
Aleksey Kolubkov ...  Lev Rubin 10 episodes
Yana Esipovich Yana Esipovich ...  Simochka 10 episodes
Evgeniy Stychkin ...  Pryanchikov 10 episodes
Igor Kvasha ...  Stalin 10 episodes
Roman Madyanov ...  Abakumov 10 episodes
Aleksandr Tyutin ...  Yakonov 10 episodes
Vladimir Konkin ...  Professor Verenev 10 episodes
Igor Ugolnikov ...  Ryumin 10 episodes
Vyacheslav Bogachyov ...  Selivanovsky 10 episodes
Mikhail Samokhvalov Mikhail Samokhvalov ...  Oskolupov 10 episodes
Semyon Furman ...  Ambranson 10 episodes
Valeriy Khromushkin ...  Potalov 10 episodes
Vladimir Yakovlev ...  Khorobrov 10 episodes
Rishat Gubaydulin Rishat Gubaydulin ...  Bulatov 10 episodes
Igor Regner Igor Regner ...  Dvoetesov 10 episodes
Mikhail Solodko Mikhail Solodko ...  Sidorov 10 episodes
Aleksey Palamarchuk Aleksey Palamarchuk ...  Syromakha 10 episodes
Pavel Kipnis Pavel Kipnis ...  Kondrashov 10 episodes
Anatoli Panfilov Anatoli Panfilov ...  Zemelya 10 episodes
Oleg Knysh Oleg Knysh ...  Lieutenant Zhvakun 10 episodes
Vladimir Ilin-Korolev Vladimir Ilin-Korolev ...  Telegraph operator Avdeev 10 episodes
Roman Kryukov Roman Kryukov ...  Telegraph operator Tyukin 10 episodes
Sergei Velyaminov Sergei Velyaminov ...  Officer on duty 10 episodes
Olga Drozdova Olga Drozdova ...  Dotnara, Volodin's wife 10 episodes
Andrey Smirnov ...  Bobinkin 10 episodes
Oleg Kharitonov Oleg Kharitonov ...  Rus'ka 10 episodes
Nikolay Penkov ...  Prosecutor Makarygin 10 episodes
Lyudmila Porgina Lyudmila Porgina ...  Makarygin's wife 10 episodes
Evgeniy Grishkovets Evgeniy Grishkovets ...  The writer Galakhov 10 episodes
Alisa Priznyakova Alisa Priznyakova ...  Dinera, Galakhov's wife 10 episodes
Boris Lyubimov Boris Lyubimov ...  Critic 10 episodes
Nelli Uvarova ...  Ninel' 10 episodes
Aleksandr Nosik ...  Vitali Yevgenyevich 10 episodes
Yuliya Novikova Yuliya Novikova ...  Klara 10 episodes
Nina Shatskaya ...  Nina 10 episodes
Dmitriy Titov Dmitriy Titov ...  General Vlasik 10 episodes
Mikhail Kononov ...  Spiridon 10 episodes
Sergey Galkin ...  Bulbanyuk 10 episodes
Galina Tyunina ...  Nadia Nerzhina 10 episodes
Igor Sklyar ...  Illarion Gerasimovich 10 episodes
Inna Churikova ...  Natalia Gerasimovich 10 episodes
Grigoriy Dantsiger Grigoriy Dantsiger ...  Roitman 10 episodes
Verner Oamer Verner Oamer ...  Lieutenant-Colonel Klementiev 10 episodes
Bogdan Berzinsh Bogdan Berzinsh ...  Lieutenant Shusterman 10 episodes
Albert Filozov ...  Uncle Avenir 10 episodes
Denis Karasyov ...  Shchagov 10 episodes
Viktoriya Fisher Viktoriya Fisher ...  Lyusia 10 episodes
Natalya Ryzhikh ...  Olen'ka 10 episodes
Olga Sarycheva Olga Sarycheva ...  Muza 10 episodes
Elena Petunina Elena Petunina ...  Dasha 10 episodes
Vasiliy Belokopytov Vasiliy Belokopytov ...  Smolosidov 10 episodes
Natalya Shulgina ...  Uncle Avenir's wife 10 episodes
Natalia Kolokolina Natalia Kolokolina ...  Secretary in Ministry of Foreign Affairs 10 episodes
Boris Romanov ...  Professor Chelnov 10 episodes
Anastasiya Lapina Anastasiya Lapina ...  Larisa Emina 10 episodes
Sergey Batalov ...  Shishkin-Myshkin 10 episodes
Milena Agranovich Milena Agranovich ...  Sharashka worker 10 episodes
Igor Lvov Igor Lvov ...  Duty Officer 10 episodes
Mariya Lavrova Mariya Lavrova ...  Spiridonov's daughter 10 episodes
Kseniya Kachalina Kseniya Kachalina ...  Potalov's Wife 10 episodes
Dmitriy Mulyar Dmitriy Mulyar ...  Lubianka driver 10 episodes
Aleksey Kizenkov Aleksey Kizenkov ...  Lubianka mechanic 10 episodes
Aleksei Dadonov Aleksei Dadonov ...  Nadelashin 10 episodes
Konstantin Zubrilin Konstantin Zubrilin ...  Shchevronok 10 episodes
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn ...  Narrator 10 episodes
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"V kruge pervom" is a ten-episode TV-series based on the autobiographical book 'The First Circle' by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Film is set in 1949-1950, in Moscow and in a prison-laboratory in the town of Marfino, near Moscow. Gleb Nerzhin (Mironov) is arrested and imprisoned in "Sharashka" in Mafrino, a prison-laboratory for secret research. His life has a value due to his degree in mathematics. He is involved in making a telephone bug, a research program which is supervised by Stalin. Written by Steve Shelokhonov

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Version of The First Circle (1992) See more »

User Reviews

An excellent filmatization of one of the most important novels of our time.
14 December 2015 | by insigniumdoomsterSee all my reviews

In 1968 a book called 'В круге первом' was published, its English title was 'In the First Circle' (sometimes just 'The First Circle'), and it has since become not just widely acclaimed but accepted as one of the most important novels of the 20th century. Its author, Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, was himself a prisoner in a sharashka (a Soviet prison for scientists where they were forced to ply their trade for the benefit of the state) and as such it is not far-fetched to call this an autobiography. With regard to this miniseries, it should hold the same historical accuracy as the novel since director Gleb Panfilov is assisted by the author himself. The author even insists on narrating it himself. This does indeed seem to be history repeated as clearly as by a photograph - well, except for the portrayals of Soviet leaders, which seem to be viewed through the lens of the prisoners.

The plot concerns itself with the inmates of Mavrino, a sharashka near Moskow, and also others who concern the place, Josef Stalin included. This place is labeled by Solzhenitsyn as 'the first circle', a reference to the topmost layer of Hell as presented in 'Divina Commedia'; in both places the inhabitants remain untortured yet eternally restrained in hopelessness and prevented from even glimpsing heaven. I do not think it unlikely that this is also an allegory for the Soviet state and its imprisonment of its own people.

The miniseries contain many characters, so many that I'm sure most producers wouldn't even dream of including all of them in such a small series as this. Yet, the huge gallery and their individual functions and sentiments are essential in what makes the novel into a great one - they provide a spectrum of viewpoints and opinions that all play a part in explaining why that small community functions the way it does, and how it relates to the greater Soviet - so Panfilov had to include them when the story was set into motion on a screen. Unfortuenately, a gallery of such size needs a good introduction so that the viewers can put them to memory, and here the miniseries fail. This issue alone makes the first two episodes into a laborious experience. Fortunately this is the series' only fault of note. Also, knowing the names of each individual is not really necessary; the series focus on their experiences, thoughts, and philosophies, and the lack of a name does not hinder the viewers perception of these.

The novel and the series are alike down to the very details. (The series does contain elements from the novel's original manuscript, which was censored before it was allowed to be released, and it remained censored until 2009; in other words, most who already have experienced the novel would have experienced the censored version and thus find the story somewhat altered.) Watching the series is of course a different experience than reading the novel, a visual experience does differ from a purely mental one, although the content is the same. Thus I would claim the series and the novel complement each other while each contains the whole story by themselves, therefore they can be equally well enjoyed together as alone. The experience is in any case as profound as can be expected of such an important work.

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Official Sites:

Official site [Russia]





Release Date:

29 January 2006 (Russia) See more »

Also Known As:

Den första kretsen See more »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Vera See more »
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Technical Specs


(10 parts)


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