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Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes 

Zuleikha otkrivaet glaza (original title)
A screen version of the best-selling novel by Guzel Yakhina. The year is 1930. In a small Tartar village, a woman named Zuleikha watches as her husband is murdered by communists. Zuleikha ... See full summary »




2020   Unknown  
6 nominations. See more awards »




Series cast summary:
Chulpan Khamatova 8 episodes, 2020
Aleksandr Sirin 8 episodes, 2020
Ramil Sabitov Ramil Sabitov 8 episodes, 2020
Aleksandr Bashirov 8 episodes, 2020
Roza Khayrullina Roza Khayrullina 8 episodes, 2020
Dmitriy Kulichkov Dmitriy Kulichkov 8 episodes, 2020
Roman Madyanov 8 episodes, 2020
Evgeniy Morozov Evgeniy Morozov 8 episodes, 2020
Yuliya Peresild 8 episodes, 2020
Vladimir Shcherbakov Vladimir Shcherbakov 8 episodes, 2020
Sergey Makovetskiy 8 episodes, 2020
Elena Shevchenko 8 episodes, 2020


A screen version of the best-selling novel by Guzel Yakhina. The year is 1930. In a small Tartar village, a woman named Zuleikha watches as her husband is murdered by communists. Zuleikha herself is sent into exile, enduring a horrendous train journey to a remote spot on the Angara River in Siberia. Conditions in the camp are tough, and many of her group do not survive the first difficult winter. As she gradually settles into a routine, Zuleikha starts to get to know her companions. The eclectic group includes a rather dotty doctor, an artist who paints on the sly, and Ignatov, Zuleikha's husband's killer.

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User Reviews

Opening her eyes to a wider world
11 May 2020 | by juan_palmero2010See all my reviews

The series is based on Guzel Yakhina´s excellent novel of the same title (recommended reading). The action begins in 1930, with Soviet soldiers coming to a tartar village as part of the campaign to repress and deport relatively prosperous peasants who opposed collectivisation.

Zuleikha is a young tartar peasant who lives with her husband and her very demanding and recriminating mother in law. She puts up with quite some rough treatment from both without ever complaining. She gets up first, goes to bed last, she believes in ghosts, and her four daughters have died in infancy. One day her life is completely changed when her husband opposes Soviet soldiers and is killed. She is then deported by train to Siberia on a journey that takes several months during which many of her fellow deportees die of hunger or disease.

Much of the series goes into showing the struggle for survival of 30 deportees of all walks of life who are abandoned in the middle of nowhere in the taiga. Zuleikha´s capacity to endure proves invaluable in her new life, in a new place, in a new culture. It allows her to open her eyes and grow in a world full of hardship, despite the hardship.

The series is beautifully filmed, with a lot of care, the views are breath-taking. The acting is very good from all the main characters (Evgeni Morozov, Yuliya Peresild, Roman Madyanov, etc.) and from most secondary characters. Chulpan Khamatova, who plays Zuleikha, shows again what a great actress she is, particularly in the second half of the series.

Very few films or series stand comparison to the novels that inspired them, and this is no exception. I wish more attention had been given to Zuleikha´s life before deportation, which is one of the most remarkable parts of the novel. In the series it is very much compressed, dealt with quite summarily, in just one of the eight episodes.

This series has given rise to a lot of passion and criticism among many in Russia when shown in early 2020. To an outsider with some knowledge of Russian culture and history, such a reaction is difficult to understand, because cultural, political and military developments are shown with a considerable degree of neutrality and restraint.

With the caveat that I would have given Zuleikha´s pre-deportation world more room in the series (an extra episode?), I find this to be a good adaptation of the novel, definitely worth watching.

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Official Sites:

Official site [Russia]





Release Date:

13 April 2020 (Russia) See more »

Also Known As:

Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Kinokompaniya Russkoe See more »
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