6.7/10
457
9 user 14 critic

Vanished Empire (2008)

Ischeznuvshaya imperiya (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 14 February 2008 (Russia)
The film's story takes place in Moscow in the 1970s. Its plot unfolds around the love triangle between two young men and a girl who study at the same university. They argue, make up, and ... See full summary »

Director:

Karen Shakhnazarov
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Courier (1986)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The story of a teenager boy in times of the comunism fall in the Soviet Union.

Director: Karen Shakhnazarov
Stars: Fyodor Dunayevsky, Anastasiya Nemolyaeva, Oleg Basilashvili
Jazzman (1983)
Comedy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A music student is expeled from school because he loves jazz, a kind of music that represents the US capitalism. He hires two street musicians to form a dixie band, and goes from one city ... See full summary »

Director: Karen Shakhnazarov
Stars: Igor Sklyar, Aleksandr Pankratov-Chyornyy, Nikolay Averyushkin
Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young romantic loves step dance but there is only one person who knows this forgotten art. Beglov was a step dance super star back in 50s but as step became unpopular he lost everything. ... See full summary »

Director: Karen Shakhnazarov
Stars: Evgeniy Evstigneev, Arkadi Nasyrov, Aleksandr Pankratov-Chyornyy
Shirli-myrli (1995)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The Russian crook steals the stolen giant diamond from the mafia, hides it and suddenly runs into his unbeknown brothers. The unexpected and absurd events with participation of mob, doctors, musicians, Americans, militia and gypsies ensue.

Director: Vladimir Menshov
Stars: Valeriy Garkalin, Vera Alentova, Inna Churikova
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Injured on the job Vasily Kuzyakin gets a ticket to the resort. There he meets femme fatale Raisa Zakharovna, and once under the charm, moves to live with her. Unfortunately, a new life is not all that sweet as dreamed hapless Vasily.

Director: Vladimir Menshov
Stars: Aleksandr Mikhaylov, Nina Doroshina, Lyudmila Gurchenko
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

This is a life story of three girlfriends from youth to autumn ages. Their dreams and wishes, love, disillusions. Different careers. And big late love.

Director: Vladimir Menshov
Stars: Vera Alentova, Aleksey Batalov, Irina Muravyova
Ward No. 6 (2009)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Simultaneously nihilistic and heartening, Ward No. 6 is based on a story by Chekov, in which a psychiatric doctor becomes a patient in his own asylum. Updated to contemporary Russia, the ... See full summary »

Directors: Aleksandr Gornovskiy, Karen Shakhnazarov
Stars: Vladimir Ilin, Aleksey Vertkov, Aleksandr Pankratov-Chyornyy
Belyy tigr (2012)
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Great Patriotic War, early 1940s. After barely surviving a battle with a mysterious, ghostly-white Tiger tank, Red Army Sergeant Ivan Naydenov becomes obsessed with its destruction.

Director: Karen Shakhnazarov
Stars: Aleksey Vertkov, Vitaliy Kishchenko, Valeriy Grishko
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The theater actor Oleg Volkov is worried about his wife's unfaithfulness. He meets a pensioner, Ivan Petrovich, who advises poisoning his unfaithful wife and her lover.

Director: Karen Shakhnazarov
Stars: Oleg Basilashvili, Ignat Akrachkov, Aleksey Alekseev
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

At the end of the Russian Civil War, Red Army soldier Fyodor Sukhov is ordered to guard the harem of a Caspian Sea guerrilla leader.

Director: Vladimir Motyl
Stars: Anatoliy Kuznetsov, Pavel Luspekayev, Spartak Mishulin
Heart of a Dog (TV Movie 1988)
Comedy | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

Professor Preobrazhensky and his colleague place some human parts into a dog named Sharik. Soon the dog transforms into a human.

Director: Vladimir Bortko
Stars: Evgeniy Evstigneev, Vladimir Tolokonnikov, Boris Plotnikov
Zerograd (1988)
Comedy | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An engineer in charge of the production line of a factory in Moscow is sent to a small town to try to specify the distributor the new dimensions of a mechanic part they need. But in this ... See full summary »

Director: Karen Shakhnazarov
Stars: Leonid Filatov, Oleg Basilashvili, Vladimir Menshov
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Aleksandr Lyapin ... Sergei Narbekov
Lidiya Milyuzina Lidiya Milyuzina ... Lyuda Beletskaya
Egor Baranovskiy Egor Baranovskiy ... Stepan Molodtsov
Ivan Kupreenko Ivan Kupreenko ... Kostya Denisov
Armen Dzhigarkhanyan ... Sergei's grandfather
Olga Tumaykina Olga Tumaykina ... Sergei's mother
Vladimir Ilin ... Stepan 30 years later
Tatyana Yakovenko Tatyana Yakovenko ... Lyuda's mother
Yanina Kalganova Yanina Kalganova ... Katya
Vasiliy Shakhnazarov Vasiliy Shakhnazarov ... Misha (as Vasya Shakhnazarov)
Ye. Kasparova Ye. Kasparova ... Folklore teacher
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Allovuddin Abdullaev Allovuddin Abdullaev ... (as A. Abdullayev)
Sergey Badichkin Sergey Badichkin ... Club manager (as S. Badichkin)
Sergey Barkovskiy Sergey Barkovskiy ... Dean (as S. Barkovskiy)
Richard Bondarev Richard Bondarev ... Edik (as R. Bondarev)
Edit

Storyline

The film's story takes place in Moscow in the 1970s. Its plot unfolds around the love triangle between two young men and a girl who study at the same university. They argue, make up, and face their first disappointments and victories. While busy with personal lives and loves, they miss foreseeing that the country in which they were born and live will soon disappear from the map. Written by hashan15

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Mosfilm [rus] | Official site

Country:

Russia

Language:

Russian

Release Date:

14 February 2008 (Russia) See more »

Also Known As:

Vanished Empire See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,328, 12 July 2009

Gross USA:

$9,280
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mosfilm, Vox Video See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Edited into Lyubov v SSSR (2013) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The past recaptured, and then lost
27 July 2009 | by Chris KnippSee all my reviews

The Vanished Empire is a beautiful film about Moscow in 1973 when its hero, Sergei Narbekov, is eighteen. Now, he and his cohorts of those days are fifty-three. Not without significance is the fact that Back to the Future is a big hit at the time. Russian kids are in love with jeans, denim, and bootlegged vinyl of the Stones and, judging by Sergei, college is a place to pick up girls you impress by your skill at wangling outlawed or hard to get stuff, including tickets for shows. Getting drunk and going dancing are also high values. Meanwhile, the USSR is full of itself, even if the kids debate whether it might not be much better elsewhere. The empire is in the ascendant but will soon begin to vanish. The film doesn't push this aspect, but hints at it metaphorically. More often it revels in the details of the period, the boastful propaganda signs, the shiny but rickety Russian cars, young hipsters performing covers of western rock and roll, cluttered apartments, people who read. This is clear-eyed nostalgia. The images are lightly tinted in yellow but razor sharp. The only nostalgia is in how well Shakhnazarov has brought everything back to life. Sergei (played by the impressive newcomer Aleksandr Lyapin) is tall and rangy, modeling his up-to-date fashions with slightly geeky panache. He has a fresh choirboy face, but also an air of cynical cockiness. The fresh face it to attract girls, not signify innocence.

Sergsi's father and grandfather (Armen Dzhigarkhanyan, an Armenian like the director) were archaeologists. His father's missing, his grandfather (who knew Agatha Christie) is amiably tired of life at home, and indulgent toward the boy -- who steals his books and sells them to buy stuff and get drunk with his best mates Stepan (Yegor Baranovsky) and Kostya (Ivan Kupreyenko). It's essential to understand this film to recognize it's about sowing your wild oats. Decades later the grudges of this moment and its misbehavior won't matter one bit. And due to the resilience of youth, they hardly even matter now.

But Sergei's definitely a bad boy, neglecting his studies and, time and again, at key moments in fact, getting drink or stoned and standing up his new girlfriend Lyuda (Lidiya Milyuzina), whose respectable mother he's impressed with is intellectual background. He wants her and loves her but he wants to have fun more. He's unmotivated. When his mother dies of stomach cancer he goes on a trip, a kind of expiation, suggested by his grandfather, to the vast empty site of the ancient City of the Wind, sole remnant of the lost Khorezm civilization his grandfather discovered.

That evocative moment ends the vision of 1973 and there quickly follows a short perspective-establishing coda in the Moscow airport today, where the now much older Sergei, whom we don't see, is recognized and approached by Stopya (Stepan), the friend he rejected in a fight over Ludya. Sergei's a translator now. The grudge is forgotten. All that means nothing now.

There's a parallel, but never at all pushed, of the lost civilization of the East and the lost Soviet empire. The film, handsome to look at, with a vivid look, is superb as to period mise-en-scene, period (and not just of his own youth) being a penchant of Shakhnazarov, whose position as head of Mosfilm has helped him get funding for such productions. The evocations give a sense of the USSR's high point of self-importance but also of how it was stunted. Now everything is gone, changed, and feels "evil," Stopya says in the airport. Shakhnazarov doesn't have to spell out the differences; the contrast is beautifully sketched in.

In retrospect there's a feeling conveyed that the reason Sergei wasn't a good boy is that he saw through the Soviet dream. The Vanished Empire, with its subtly overlapping sense of parallels between lost youth, far off civilization, and crumbled USSR, succeeds in both making eighteen and 1973 clear and vivid and showing that they're gone forever -- that in reliving them for us Sergei is an archaeologist, just like his father and grandfather, after all.


13 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 9 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows to Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse all our free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed