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Films and Other Collections » Soviet, Russian, and CIS Feature Films

Soviet Films | Russian Films | CIS Films

* Titles in blue were acquired during the 2011-2012 academic year *
**Click on a heading to sort the table

Soviet Films

Title Code Description Format Year
9 DAYS OF ONE YEAR9DAY 105 min., Russian without English subtitles. Directed by Mikhail Romm. Two young physicists, an afflicted experimenter Dmitri Gusev (Batalov) and a sceptical physicist-theorist Ilya Kulikov (Smoktunovsky) carry out nuclear researches at a Siberian research institute. Dmitri heads the researches begun by his teacher Sintsov who as a result of experiment had received a deadly dose of radiation. Gusev is irradiated also. Doctors warn that any more radiation will kill him. At that time his friend Ilya and Lyolya who loved Dmitri developed a romantic relationship. The enamoured couple prepares for a wedding and look for a possibility to inform Dmitri about it. When they meet, Dmitri already suspects this and coldly received Lyolya and Ilya. Lyolya is caught up in self-contradictions, and as she tries to establish his true feelings for her she learns about the terrible diagnosis. Realising that she still loves Dmitri, Lyolya cancels her wedding to Kulikov and weds Gusev. DVD1961
THE ADOLESCENTPOD 385 min., Russian without subtitles. Directed by Evgenii Tashkov. 20-year-old Arkadii Dolgorukii, having neither experience nor firm moral principles, enters the arena of Life, where self-righteousness, the pursuit of easy money, and depravity all thrive. Based on the novel by F. M. Dostoevskii. All six installments of the television mini-series are available on this single disc. DVD-PAL1983
THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES AND DR. WATSON ADV1 – ADV6 Var. lengths. Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Igor Maslennikov. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson is a series of television films made by Soviet television. They were directed by Igor Maslennikov. Between 1979 and 1986, Soviet television produced a series of five films at the Lenfilm movie studio, split into eleven episodes, starring Vasily Livanov as Sherlock Holmes and Vitaly Solomin as Dr. Watson. Unlike some of their Western counterparts, the films are very close to the literary source. Some of the departures include Holmes' easy-going and humorous demeanor, as well as comic relief provided by some of the characters (most notably that of Sir Henry Baskerville and his butler Barrymore in The Hound of the Baskervilles episode). The series' soundtrack was composed by Vladimir Dashkevich; the introductory piece has become one of the most recognizable pieces of cinematic music in the former Soviet Union. The tune intentionally resembles an hourly musical logo played on the shortwave BBC World Service, and Maslennikov confirmed in a later interview that he wanted a very similar tune which could be identified with the spirit of Great Britain. DVDs 1979-1986
AELITA, QUEEN OF MARSAEL 113 min., Silent. Directed by Yakov Protazanov. A Soviet engineer builds and pilots a space ship to find the alien woman who haunts his dreams. VHS1924
AFONYA AFO 92 min., Russian without English subtitles. Directed by Georgiy Danelia. The 1975 film by Georgi Daneliya "Afonya" was an unexpected commercial hit in USSR. The main character Borshev A.N. is a locksmith who spends his free time, as well as working hours, drinking with his buddies whom he even doesn't recognize the next day after another heavy drink. His wife leaves him, his boss places him on probation, his whole life is falling apart but he doesn't realize it. There is only one person who can save him - nurse Katya whom he met on dances and didn't pay much attention to... Daneliya manages to balance in the film satire and drama, quotes from the film gained a cult status in Russia and other former countries of USSR. DVD 1975
AIR CREWAIR 144 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Alexander Mitta. A passenger plane lands just as a major earthquake begins. To escape the devastation, the plane takes off again, only to face more danger in the air. This exciting Soviet disaster film throws melodrama and real character development into the mix, adding some nice human textures to the spectacle. DVD1980
ALEXANDER NEVSKY ALN, EIS2 108 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Sergei Eisenstein. Historical drama of Alexander Nevsky's life, his struggle to unite the Russian people, and his triumphs over the invading Germanic tribes. This film includes the famous battle scene on frozen Lake Peipus. With its magnificently realized battle sequences (including the famed "Battle on the Ice" climax) and Sergei Prokofiev's masterful score, this remains a classic of epic filmmaking, a true masterpiece from one of the most important filmmakers of all time. DVD 1938
ALICE IN WONDERLANDAIL 69 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Yefrem Pruzhansky. This cartoon is the Soviet adaption of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. DVD1981
A LOVER'S ROMANCEDRUSLORO 135 min., Russian without subtitles. Directed by Andrei Konchalovskii A unique film that broke the stylistic conventions of its time, this poetic work stands out in Soviet film of the 1970s. In it we learn the simple, yet heart-wrenchingly dramatic, story of two young lovers forced apart by circumstance. Although they continue to love each other, it seems that this separation is permanent... DVD1974
ANDREI ROUBLEV AND1 185 min. (DVD version 205 min.), Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky. This film is about the horrors the 15th century monk and icon painter--Andrei Roublev--witnesses on his "Dante Like" journey into of silence. Not until the film's full and glorious end does he realize that he has no excuse not to speak or paint, no matter how repressive the world around him. DVD Version: 1966, 205 minutes, in Russian with optional English subtitles. Immediately suppressed by the Soviets in 1966, Andrey Tarkovsky's epic masterpiece is a sweeping medieval tale of Russia's greatest icon painter. Too experimental, too frightening, too violent, and too politically complicated to be released officially, Andrei Rublev existed only in shortened, censored versions until The Criterion Collection created this complete 205-minute director's cut special edition, now available for the first time on DVD. Some of its special features include: exclusive widescreen digital transfer, new English subtitles translating 40% more dialogue, screen-specific essay by Harvard film professor Vlada Petric, rare film interviews with Andrei Tarkovsky, a timeline featuring key events in Russian history, plus the lives and works of Andrei Rublev and Tarkovsky. DVD1966
ANNA KARENINAANNAK 103 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Alexander Zarkhi. Based on Tolstoy's beloved 1870 novel, this Russian production of the classic tale of tragic passion and human morality traces the path of a woman who pays a very high price for following her heart. Tatiana Samoilova (The Cranes are Flying) plays the title role. Also starring Nikolai Gritsenko and Vassily Lanovoi. DVD1967
ARSENALARS 75 min., Silent with Russian titles, English subtitles. Directed by Alexander Dovzhenko. A true masterpiece of form and content, set in the countryside and at the front during the final years of World War I and the beginnings of the Russian Revolution and Civil War. Arsenal depicts the struggle in Kiev as the arsenal goes on strike and the strikers are defeated. Its great sequences include the symbol of a starving horse, and the death of the Revolutionary hero who, as he struggles forward with open shirt, is riddled with bullets by the Whites. "...in many ways his most dazzling silent picture. Dovzhenko's view of wartime and battlefront morality is too ambiguous and multilayered to fit comfortably within any propaganda scheme" (Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader).DVD 1929
THE ASCENTASC 111 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Larisa Shepitko. An uncompromising portrayal of war and betrayal, The Ascent follows two Russian soldiers who are captured in German-occupied Byelorussia during World War Two. VHS1976
ASSAASA Russian without English subtitles. Directed by Sergei Solov'ev. The youthful heroine of this thriller ties her fate to that of a leader of a major gang. When she finally realizes her mistake, it's too late... DVD1988
AT DAWN IT'S QUIET HEREATDA 1972, 190 min. Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Stanislav Rostotsky. The action takes place during the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945) in Russian Karelia. Five anti-aircraft gunner girls, who are mostly under twenty years old, and their commander, Sergeant Vaskov, discover that a German detachment has landed in this, far-removed from the front line, locale. The information must be delivered to the headquarters. However, the saboteurs have broken communications, cutting off the small group of Russian soldiers from their army base and leaving them no hope of getting help. The enemy endeavors to further penetrate into the rear of the Soviet army on a mission to destroy a number of essential facilities. Vaskov and the five girls accept battle, being outnumbered by sixteen Fascists, armed to the teeth... DVD1972
AT HOME AMONG STRANGERS, A STRANGER AMONG HIS OWNATH 97 min., Russian with English subtitles, Directed by Nikita Mikhalkov. An unenviable lot fell to the Red Army soldier Shilov: he is suspected of stealing gold. In the hungry 1920's, the young Soviet Republic's government searches for gold all over the country, to buy bread from abroad. And now, the collected valuables disappeared from the armored and well-guarded train car on their way to Moscow. Shilov learns that the valuables have been stolen by bandits, and in order to restore his good reputation, Shilov has to infiltrate the band. To find out where the stolen gold is kept, he must be at home among the strangers. DVD1974
AUTUMN MARATHON AUTM 100 min., Russian with English subtitles, Directed by Georgy Danelia. A gentle English translator and university professor living in Leningrad can no longer separate his personal life from his duties and, while he doesn't wish to harm anyone, his life becomes increasingly muddled by his loving wife, a demanding mistress, a wretched colleague, hounding students and a neighbor who rings his doorbell at dawn everyday during the jogging season. DVD1969
A BAD GOOD MAN BAD 94 min., Russian without English subtitles, Directed by Iosef Kheifitsa. Tormented by the boredom and futility of life, government official Laevskii thirsts for a way to pull out of the depraved cycle of his existence. His moral opposite, the naturalist Koren, is convinced that people like Laevskii ought to be destroyed. But, contrary to the wishes and wills of our heroes, providence decides their fate… DVD1977
BALLAD OF A SOLDIER BAL 3 80 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Grigori Chukhrai. Grigori Chukhrai's poetic and elegiac war story is one of the major works of post-war Russian cinema, detailing the odd, bemused moments of a soldier's earnest seduction of a country girl while visiting his mother. The film is also devastating at capturing the dread, pain and humiliation of war, and its effects on the people. "The picture flows in such a swift, poetic way that the tragedy of it is concealed by a gentle lyric quality" (New York Times). With Vladimir Ivashov and Zhanna Prokhorenko. DVD1959
BALZAMINOV'S MARRIAGE BAL4 85 min., Russian with no English subtitles. Directed by Konstantin Voynov. Balzaminov's Marriage (Russian: Женитьба Бальзаминова) is a 1964 Soviet comedy film directed by Konstantin Voynov. A theatergoer may be vaguely reminded of "Fiddler on the Roof" during the course of this film since we are here involved with Balzaminov, a lowly clerk who is constantly being directed by a termagant of a match-maker. Seems that our hero finds mental surcease in dreaming great dreams of being a general or being married to a rich woman. He doesn't like his mean estate but, an introspective, timorous chump, he is a slave to his mother and the aforementioned matchmaker. DVD1964
BATTLESHIP POTEMKINBAT2, BAT 66 min., silent, Russian titles, English titles. Directed by Sergei Eisenstein. This Soviet classic portrays the mutiny aboard the Tsarist battleship during the 1905 revolution. Selected by the British Film Institute in 1972 as one of the three best films ever made. DVD, VHS1925
BATTELSHIP POTEMKIN (TWO-DISC EDITION WITH ORIGINAL MEISEL ORCHESTRAL SCORE) BATT3 A new two-disc edition of Sergei Eisenstein’s masterpiece with the original Meisel orchestral score. This Soviet classic portrays the mutiny aboard the Tsarist battleship during the 1905 revolution. Seizing control over the Potemkin and raising the red flag of revolution, the sailors’ revolt becomes a rallying point for a Russian populace ground under the boot heels of the Czar’s Cossacks. When ruthless White Russian cavalry arrives to crush the rebellion on the sandstone Odessa steps, the most famous and most quoted film sequence in cinema history is born. Battleship Potemkin was selected by the British Film Institute in 1972 as one of the three best films ever made.DVD1925
BE MY HUSBANDBEM Bud'te Moim Muzhem: 82 min., Russian no English subtitles. Directed by Alla Surikova. A main heroine of this story wants to rent an apartment while vacationing with her child. In order to accomplish this, she must be married. She literally asks a stranger to marry her, and to her surprise, he agrees. DVD1981
BED AND SOFABED 73 min., Silent with English titles. Directed by Abram Room. Bed and Sofa is a brilliant and hilarious social commentary that centers on a bizarre love triangle in the midst of a housing shortage in NEP era Moscow. Supposedly based on the details in the life of poet Vladimir Mayakovsky, this film rejects politics and symbolism for a sense of humor and naturalism. The decision reached at the end of the film by the woman at the center of the triangle represents the liberation of women in the new Soviet society. VHS1927
BED AND SOFA (WITH CHESS FEVER)BED2 Bed and Sofa: 1927, 87 min., Russian or English intertitles. Directed by Abram Room. Chess Fever: 1925, 28 min., Russian or English intertitles. Directed by Vsevolod Pudovkin and Nikolai Shpikovsky. Daring for its time - or any time - Bed and Sofa is the story of a love triangle between a woman and two men living together in a one-room basement apartment in 1927 Moscow. When Liuda becomes pregnant and no one knows which man is the father, she must determine her own future. A sparkling print, excellent new music, and an illuminating second-track commentary contribute fresh life to an amazingly modern Russian classic. This DVD also includes Chess Fever, a witty and ingenious satire on the chess craze which swept Moscow at the time of the International Tournament there. DVD1925, 1927
BLACK ROSE IS A SYMBOL OF SADNESS, RED ROSE IS A SYMBOL OF LOVE BLA3 141 mins, Russian (no English subtitles) Directed by Sergey Solov’ev. A breathtakingly irreverent and playful attempt to depict, in its director's words, "Sorrow, Love, Kitsch and Perestroika," Black Rose demonstrates more sheer love of filmmaking than anything to come along in ages. And it's certainly the first film from the USSR whose high spirits embody a total rejection of ideology. (Although, paradoxically, it manages to convey, just as powerfully as Kira Muratova's Asthenic Syndrome), the sense of weakness and aggression, somehow never distant from farce, that pervades so much of Russian life today.) As in all the films of director Sergei Solovyov (100 Days After Childhood, SFIFF 1975), the central character of his "melodramatic comedy" is a youngster. But there simply aren't any precedents anywhere in Soviet cinema for Black Rose's protagonist Mitya (Mikhail Rosanov), a 14-year-old who winds up a millionaire with a beautiful wife six years his senior and the father of a rosy-cheeked baby. With so much contemporary Soviet filmmaking mired in producing excruciatingly dull rip-offs of Tarkovsky or scheming about how to out-Hollywood Hollywood, Solovyov's tonic absurdism may point out a healthier path. It certainly makes for a very bracing viewing. DVD 1989
BORIS GODUNOVBOR-a, BOR 111 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Vera Stroeva. The Bolshoi Opera presents Mussorgsky's opera, based on Pushkin's play. In 1598 Ivan the Terrible's son is succeeded to the throne by his brother-in-law Boris Godunov, on whom the murder of Dmitri, Ivan's last quasi-religious heir is pinned. In good times, the people support Godunov, but when things get rough, he is once again Boris the Tsarevich-Murderer, and the people greet the first person pretending to be Dmitri as their savior. DVD, VHS1954
BORIS GODUNOVBORI 140 min. Russian without subtitles. Directed by Sergei Bondarchuk. Based on the play by Pushkin. DVD1986
THE BRIGHT PATH [SVETLYY PUTI]BRIG101 min. A musical comedy directed by Grigori Alexandrov, staring Lyubov Orlova. Illiterate, but hard working village girl Tania comes to live in a small town near Moscow. After working as a housemaid for a while, Tania finds happiness in studying and collective work. She is elected deputy of Supreme Soviet.DVD-PAL1940
THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOVBRO1, BRO2 220 min. Russian without subtitles. Directed by Ivan Pyr’ev. Based on the novel by Dostoevsky. DVD1968
THE CAMERAMAN'S REVENGE AND OTHER FANTASTIC TALESCAM 80 min. Silent with English titles. Directed by Ladislaw Starewicz. Includes Ladislaw Starewicz's The Cameraman's Revenge (1912), The Insect's Christmas (1913), Frogland (1922), Voice of the Nightingale (1923), The Mascot (1933), and Winter Carousel (1958). Starewicz, working in Russia and later in Paris, created some of the most imaginative and loveliest works of puppet animation ever filmed. VHS1912-
1958
THE CARNIVALDRUSCARN01A 74 + 71 min. Russian, with Russian, English, French, Spanish, German, and Italian subtitles. Directed by Tatiana Lioznova.A young Russian girl is in love with show business and wants to leave her small town for Moscow and make it big in the big city. She encounters her long missing, remarried-with-child father and gets a boyfriend (Alexander Abdulov) who uses her and then leaves her. After bouncing about Moscow trying many different jobs--some in show business--she gets her big break. DVD 1981
CARNIVAL NIGHTCNI 74 min., Russian without subtitles. Directed by Eldar Riazanov. In this beloved musical comedy, a group of young actors and artists attempt to subvert their Culture House boss' extremely dull plans for a New Year's Day concert with colorful escapades of their own. This film introduced the world to the talent of both its director, Eldar Riazanov, and its leading actress, Liudmila Gurchenko, and has since become a classic of the comedic genre. DVD1956
CATAFALQUECAT Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Valeri Todorovsky. The lives of a village woman and her daughter are disrupted after they take in a stranger found sleeping in their yard. VHS1990
CHAPAYEVCHA 101 min., Russian without English subtitles. Directed by Serge Vasilyev/Georgi Vasilyev. A stirring account of a beloved hero of the Russian Revolution. An illiterate Russian serves in the Tsar's army, and after the Revolution, forms his own forces and goes on the Red side, fighting the Whites. VHS/DVD1934
CHECKPOINTS ON THE ROADPRO1 Russian without English subtitles. Directed by R. Bykov. This World War II film was banned for fifteen years because of its unorthodox image of former P.O.W.s. VHS1973
THE CIGARETTE GIRL OF MOSSELPROMCIG 78 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Yuri Zhelyabuzhsky. A street woman finds herself whisked into stardom when she is discovered by a movie producer. VHS1924
CIRCUSCIR 89 min., Russian with English Subtitles. Directed by Grigori Alexandrov. Capitalism meets Communism in this incredible story of an American circus artist who has a black boy- a daring conceit for 1936. But the only way (and only place) she can possibly find happiness is naturally among the Soviet people. Lyubov Orlova, the musical comedy mega-star of the 1930's delivers a performance of verve in this daring attempt to import the American comedy form into the Soviet Union. VHS1936
CLUB OF THE BIG DEEDCLU 87 min., Silent with French narration and German subtitles. Directed by Grigori Kozintsev. A most cinematographic film in the fashion of Eisenstein and Pudovkin, celebrating a revolutionary period of an earlier time, in this case the Decembrist movement of 1825 in St. Petersburg. It has a collective hero and it has a villain who is villainous merely for the sake of it. The sets, the gambling club of the title and a parade ground are used with great virtuosity. Grigori Kozintsev was a teenager when he graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Petrograd and with Leonid Trauberg, both stage actors, became film directors in 1922. They organized the studio FEXS, "Factory of the Eccentric Actor." The company had as its aims the search of new forms of theatrical expression to overthrow the old traditional ways represented by the Moscow Art Theatre. VHS1927
THE COLOR OF POMEGRANATES COL3 80 min., Armenian with English subtitles. Directed by Sergei Paradjanov. An acclaimed masterpiece first banned by Soviet censors. The movie depicts the life and spiritual odyssey of the 16th century Armenian poet and troubadour Sayat Nova and his rise from carpetweaver to archbishop and martyr. DVD1969
COME AND SEECOM1 142 min., Russian & Belarusian with English subtitles. Directed by Elem Klimov. Set in 1943 German-occupied Byelorussia, the film follows an adolescent boy through the nightmare that is war. VHS/DVD1985
COMMISSARCOM2 105 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Alexander Askoldov. Set against the Russian Civil War, a Red Army commander's military career is disrupted by an unwanted pregnancy. Forced to stay with a poor Jewish family until her child is born, she comes face to face with the realities of different cultures. Ultimately she is forced to make the difficult decision to rejoin her troops at the front or stay with her child. VHS1988
THE COMPLETE WORKS OF YURI NORSTEINNORS 98 min., Russian with English subtitles.
  • 25th - First Day (1968): Norstein's first film and his personal salute to Russia's leading avant-garde and post revolutionary artists. The name of the film refers to the first day of the October Revolution. Both the art and music had been banned in the 20s as "too formalistic." This film has rarely been seen in Russia or the West.
  • Battle of Kerjenets (1971): Norstein co-directed with I. Ivanov-Vano. Frescos, icons and Rimsky Korsakov music.
  • Fox and Rabbit (1973): An ancient Russian Folk Tale. Director's cut and sound track. Rarely seen in the West.
  • Heron and Crane (1974): A turn of the century Russian folk tale about the unlucky marriage-minded Crane who continues to woo and lose the Heron.
  • Hedgehog in Fog (1975): A lyric narrative about the little hedgehog who goes to visit his friend the bear cub so that they can count the stars together.
  • Tale of Tales (1978): Norstein's masterpiece. Named "best Animated Film of All Time" by the U.S. Olympic Arts Committee.
DVD1968-
1978
COMRADE ABRAMCOMR 18 min., Silent with English titles. Directed by Alexander Razumi. This short propaganda film (or agitka) tells the tale of a Jew who survives a pogrom and becomes a leader in the Red Army. Intended to indoctrinate Soviet citizens by showing heroic examples of conversion to the revolutionary cause, the agitka (“agitation pieces”) were originally screened on Russian “film trains”. A rare portrait of a Jewish character in early Russian cinema. DVD1919
THE CRANES ARE FLYING CRA2 94 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Mikhail Kalatozov. Veronica and Boris are blissfully in love, until the eruption of World War II tears them apart. Boris is sent to the front lines.and then communication stops. Meanwhile, Veronica tries to ward off spiritual numbness while Boris' draft-dodging cousin makes increasingly forceful overtures. A superbly crafted drama, bolstered by stunning cinematography and impassioned performances. DVD1957
CRIME AND PUNISHMENT CRI3, CRI4 209 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Lev Kulidzhanov. This two-disc set contains a screen adaptation of Dostoevsky's classic novel. A poor student, Rodion Raskolnikov, commits a crime which is inevitably followed by pangs of conscience; his soul, burdened by the sin of murder, is torn between faith and faithlessness, hope and despair. An investigation conducted by detective Porfirii Petrovich points to Raskolnikov, but before his meeting with the investigator, he experiences a genuine love that will help him repent. The depiction of 19th-century Saint Petersburg life, the strong and controversial characters, and an expected outcome hold the viewer in suspense up until the end. DVD1970
CROWN OF THE RUSSIAN EMPIRE OR THE ELUSIVE AVENGERS AGAINELU3 134 min. Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Edmond Keosayan. The last in the adventure trilogy about the elusive avengers – the four brave friends. The Russian Civil War is over. Still some Russian émigrés are entertaining the plans of restoring monarchy in their native country, with the two pretenders to the throne standing ready. But for the coronation ceremony, they need the Emperor’s Big Crown which is kept behind armored glass in one of the museums. The extraordinary commission for Preventing Counterrevolutionary Activities charges its four “elusive” agents with protecting the crown. And again we are to experience the breathtaking chase after the adventurers and more exciting escapades and life-threatening stunts, with which this film abounds. DVD1971
A CRUEL ROMANCECRU 145 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Nikita Mikhalkov. Actor-director Nikita Mikhalkov (Burnt by the Sun) is among the stars of Eldar Ryazanov's romantic melodrama, based on a play by Alexander Ostrovsky. The beautiful daughter (Larissa Guzeyeva) of an impoverished noblewoman must weigh her true love for an untrustworthy man who is engaged to another woman against the practical considerations offered by another--a suitor she happens to despise. DVD1984
DANGEROUS GAME PLYU 91 min., Russian without English subtitles. Directed by Vadim Abdrashitov. Plumbum in translation from Latin means lead - it is Ruslan Chutko's nickname who decided to become a "sanitary assistant of society." But while being taken away by his role of fighting against evil, he goes beyond the limits of child's game and mercilessly intrudes into other people's fates. This film is a sharp detective story dealing with deep and actual moral problem. DVD 1986
DANGEROUS TOURDAN 83 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Georgii Iungvald-Khilkevich. Bobruisky-Dumbadze, the police chief in Odessa, is passionately in love with the dancer Sophie. He has no idea that she and charming singer Georges Bengalsky are disseminating underground literature. But a series of events eventually lead the policeman behind the scenes of a variety show, where a deadly number is playing - a fight with no compromise between feuding heroes... DVD1969
DAURIADAU 182 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Viktor Tregubovich. A carefree daredevil's main concern in life is a romantic rivalry for the hand of a pretty girl. But on the eve of the outbreak of World War I, he comes to realize there is much more happening in a world bigger than he ever imagined, and soon he will face the most important decisions of his life. DVD1971
DEAD SOULSMERT 387 min (2-DVD set). Russian without English subtitles. Directed by Mikhail Shveitzer. Mikhail Shveitzer's rendition of Gogol's masterpiece. DVD-PAL1984
DEAR ELENA SERGEEVNADOR Russian with English subtitles. Directed by E. Riazanov. This film explores the relationships of high school students and their teachers. This psychological drama has an unusually tragic ending for a Soviet film. VHS1988
DEATH OF A SWANDEA 51 min., Silent with German titles. Directed by Yevgeni Bauer. A very rare 1917 film made by Yevgeni Bauer, who came to directing from design and excelled at getting great performances from actors. Prolific--he directed some 20 films each year--Bauer focused on contemporary subjects for his films rather than classical themes, and according to historian Jay Leyda, insisted on dressing all of his heroes and heroines in beautiful dress, no matter whom they portrayed. VHS1916
DEFENSE COUNSEL SEDOVDEF 48 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Evgeny Tsimbal. Sedov is a determined, compassionate lawyer with an unyielding sense of principle who takes on the nearly suicidal task of defending accused "enemies of the people." This unsettling film shot in icy black and white mercilessly probes its characters and draws them into an unexpectedly chilling finale. VHS/DVD1989
DERSU UZELADER 140 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Akira Kurosawa. Kurosawa's remarkable personal tale of the friendship between a wise old man and a young, Soviet explorer. Filmed in the beautiful expanse of Siberia, it is a unique story of man's unity with nature, and a powerful testament to faith. "...Dersu Uzala brings moments of real majesty. It is the clear resonance of genius; Kurosawa can find grandeur in the intimate as well as the infinite" (Jay Cocks, Time). Academy Award-winner for Best Foreign Language Film. DVD1975
DESTINY OF A MANDEST 103 min., Russian with English Subtitles. Directed by Sergey Bondarchuk. Adapted from the story by Mikhail Sholkhov. The film’s protagonist, Andrei Sokolov lost his wife and children in the Second World War, survived the horrors of a concentration camp, where he was being led to his execution, only to have his sentence revoked at the last minute. After being released from the camp, Sokolov marches with the Soviet Army to Berlin. But Fate would not stop testing him: on Victory Day he received the news of his son’s death. He seemed to have lost everything, but the human spirit preservers. DVD1959
THE DIAMOND ARMDIA2 100 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Leonid Gaidai. Leonid Gaidai, considered a master of satire and slapstick in his homeland, directed this comedy that remains beloved in Russia. The film was inspired by a newspaper account of a man caught smuggling gold and diamonds inside his plaster arm cast. In the movie, the two swindlers behind the operation find themselves caught up in a wild series of adventures. Their hilarious dialogue spawned several popular catch phrases in the Soviet Union and helped make the film one of the country's biggest box office hits of all time. Includes optional English, French and Arabic dubbed audio, multilingual subtitle options, interview with Nina Grebeshkova, a circus performance excerpt by Yuri Nikulin, excerpts of the theater performances “The Marriage of Figaro and Government Inspector” starring Andrei Mironov and Anatoli Papanov, cast and crew filmographies, and a photo album. DVD1968
THE DOG IN THE MANGERDRUSTDIM01A 129 min., Russian without English subtitles. Directed by Yan Frid. Based on the comedy by Lope de Vega, this is the spicy story of a capricious, testy and passionate beauty--Diana--and the secretary who is hopelessly in love with her. DVD1978
DOMESTIC CIRCUMSTANCESDOM 129 min., Russian without English subtitles. Directed by Aleksei Korenev. Although this film debuted over a quarter century ago, it has not lost its relevance. Today’s young people too often write off their parents as old-timers, forgetting that “love knows no age.” In this film, happily, all domestic problems and frictions are resolved in the most joyful way. DVD1977
EARLY RUSSIAN CINEMA Volume 1: BeginningsEAR1 45 min., Actualities made by foreign companies, like Path's A Fish Factory in Astrakhan stimulated a demand for home-produced films which was finally answered by the enterprising Drankov. His Sten'ka Razin (1908) enjoyed immense success as the first Russian dramatic film. Path responded by increasing production at their Moscow studio, with art films like Princess Tarakanova (1910) and the first Chekhov adaptation, Romance with Double-Bass(1911).VHS 1908-
1911
EARLY RUSSIAN CINEMA Volume 2: Folklore and LegendEAR2 55 min., These four films chart the emergence of Russian cinema's leading producer, Aleksandr Khanzhonkov, and the pioneer director Vasilii Goncharov. Drama in a Gypsy Camp (1908) and the unreleased Brigand Brothers (1912) are lively folklore subjects--the latter includes a superb early performance by Mozzhukhin--while A 16th Century Russian Wedding (1909) shows the influence of history painting and Rusalka (1910) draws on French-style special effects to realize Pushkin's poetic legend. VHS1909-
1912
EARLY RUSSIAN CINEMA Volume 3: Starewicz's FantasiesEAR3 58 min., Now regarded as one of the pioneers of puppet animation, Starewicz achieved his early fame through his insect fables like The Dragonfly and the Ant (1913). However, with a ribald Gogol' adaptation, Christmas Eve (1913), he was launched on an equally original feature career in fantasy subjects. He also made strong contributions to the war effort, with a string of propaganda shorts typified by The Lily of Belgium (1915). VHS1913-
1915
EARLY RUSSIAN CINEMA Volume 4: Provincial VariationsEAR4 55 min., Although early Russian cinema was centered mainly in Moscow, provincial efforts did contribute some remarkable works. Among these were the Latvian Wedding Day (1912), providing an invaluable record of traditional Jewish customs, and the sensational blackmail melodrama Merchant Bashkirov's Daughter (1913), set on the Volga. VHS1912-
1913
EARLY RUSSIAN CINEMA Volume 5: Chardynin's PushkinEAR5 45 min., This former touring actor-manager made an early name for himself and gave Russian cinema a distinctly cultured orientation, with Pushkin adaptations such as The Queen of Spades (1910), and The House in Kolomna (1913). VHS1910-
1913
EARLY RUSSIAN CINEMA Volume 6: Class DistinctionsEAR6 95 min., Although strict censorship was imposed to keep inflammatory material from reaching the screen, many early Russian films did achieve candid portrayals of social conditions. Goncharov's The Peasants' Lot (1912) depicted the hardship of rural life, and Bauer's early film Silent Witnesses (1914) dealt frankly with the views of servants towards their masters in a Moscow mansion. VHS1912-
1914
EARLY RUSSIAN CINEMA Volume 7: Evgenii BauerEAR7 95 min., In a short five years Bauer achieved mastery in several genres, including the social melodrama A Child of the Big City (1913), the erotic comedy The 1002nd Ruse (1915), and the psychological melodrama Daydreams (1915). Before his early death in 1917, Bauer raided Russian cinema to an unparalleled artistic level. VHS1913-
1915
EARLY RUSSIAN CINEMA Volume 8: Iakov ProtazanovEAR8 104 min., Protazanov did not avoid controversy in either his highly successful pre- or post-modern careers. The Departure of a Great Man (1912) depicts the last days of Tolstoi and provoked legal action by the outraged family. The Queen of Spades (1916) starred Mozzhukhin in one of his most compelling roles as Pushkin's haunted hero. VHS1912-
1916
EARLY RUSSIAN CINEMA Volume 9: High SocietyEAR9 100 min., This collection is a panorama of Russian cinema's social impact at the height of its ambition. Fertner's Antosha Ruined by a Corset (1916) is a racy, knowing urban comedy; and Bauer's A Life for a Life (1916) marked the pinnacle of his ambition to equal lavish foreign production standards. The Funeral of Vera Kholodnaia recorded the vast public response to the early death of Russia's greatest star in 1919. VHS1916
EARLY RUSSIAN CINEMA Volume 10: The End of an EraEAR10 72 min., The Revolutionary reflects the urgent new themes that developed between the February and October revolutions in 1917. Bauer's last film, For Luck, is a tragic melodrama; and the poignant fragment Behind the Screen shows the stars Mozzukhin and Lisenko on the eve of their departure into exile. VHS1917
EARTHEART 88 min., Silent with English title cards. Directed by Alexander Dovzhenko. A masterpiece. The last silent film by Alexander Dovzhenko is a lyrical evocation of his native Ukraine, the theme of the life cycle of man developed through constant juxtaposition and intertwining of images of life and death. The film charts the conflict between peasants and a landowner in a film poem of inestimable beauty. "A picture for filmgoers who are prepared to take their cinema as seriously as Tolstoy took the novel" (James Agee). It also includes a partial reconstruction of Sergei Eisenstein’s BEZHIN MEADOW (Bezhin lug), 31 minutes, Russian intertitles with English subtitles. DVD1930
THE ELUSIVE AVENGERS ELU 78 min. Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Edmond Keosayan. Based on Pavel Blyakhin’s novel Red Little Devils. The vivid comedy recounts the incredible adventures of four friends during the 1920s Civil War in Russia. The former student Valerka, the fun-loving, audacious Yashka and the orphaned Gypsy Danka with his sister Ksanka gave an oath to infiltrate Ataman Burnash’s band to avenge the death of Danka’s father. Under the disguise of a son of the ataman’s old friend, Danka finds his way into Burnash’s unit. However, the bandits got wind of it. Danka faces execution. But what are friends for, if not rescuing their comrade. DVD1966
THE EXTRAORDINARY ADVENTURES OF MR. WEST IN THE LAND OF THE BOLSHEVIKSEXT 88 min., Silent with English titles. Directed by Lev Kuleshov. An inspired satire of America's slanted view of Russia, Mr. West is sharply funny as it plays with misconceptions about the Soviet people. A bourgeois American is challenged by his friends to visit those "mad savage Russians.". Once he arrives he is beset by an onslaught of strange characters and events, thrusting him into a world of danger and intrigue. . .then the farce really begins. VHS1924
THE FATAL EGGSDRUSFATA01A 117 min., Russian without subtitles. Directed by Sergei Lomkin. It’s the Soviet Union, 1928. Zoology professor Persikov has made an incredible discovery. He’s found a way to speed up the development of embryos—now eggs can be produced a thousand times faster. Following his research, soon all manner of life becomes huge and aggressive...The scientist, alas, never completes his experiments: the noble security services get mixed up in his affairs, and the victory of science ends in catastrophe. DVD1996
FATHER OF A SOLDIERFAT 92 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Rezo Chkheidze. Sergo Zakariadze won Best Actor honors at the Moscow International Film Festival for his moving performance as an aging peasant who is a witness to war's inhumanity when he travels to see his wounded son in a military hospital. With his son already back at the front, the father accompanies the Soviet army to Berlin just as the Third Reich is about to fall. DVD1965
A FEW DAYS FROM THE LIFE OF OBLOMOV OBL1 136 min., Russian without English subtitles. Directed by Nikita Mikhalkov. St. Petersburg, mid 19th century: the indolent, middle-aged Oblomov lives in a flat with his older servant, Zakhar. He sleeps much of the day, dreaming of his childhood on his parents' estate. His boyhood companion, Stoltz, now an energetic and successful businessman, adds Oblomov to his circle whenever he's in the city, and Oblomov's life changes when Stoltz introduces him to Olga, lovely and cultured. When Stoltz leaves for several months, Oblomov takes a country house near Olga's, and she determines to change him: to turn him into a man of society, action, and culture. Soon, Olga and Oblomov are in love; but where, in the triangle, does that leave Stoltz? DVD 1979
FIVE EVENINGS FIVE 1978, 98 min. Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Nikita Mikhalkov. Based on the play by Alexander Volodin. The set is the 1950s. Once Alexander and Tamara were in love, but the war had separated them. Twenty years later they meet again, but they lack the courage to admit that their feelings for each other are still alive. Unable to overcome their pride, they try to convince each other that both are doing just fine. The tangible world of an old communal apartment is recreated onscreen with an incredible accuracy, every detail capturing the flare of the time. DVD1978
A FORGOTTEN TUNE FOR THE FLUTEFOR 131 min., English subtitles. Directed by Eldar Ryazanov. A comedy about Lenny, a high-ranking official with the Leisure Time Directorate. Although he lives a privileged lifestyle, married to the daughter of an even higher-ranking official, he falls in love with Lidia, a vivacious nurse who helps him rediscover himself. Unrated but recommended for mature audiences. VHS1988
FORMULA OF LOVE FOR2 86 min., Russian without English subtitles. Directed by Mark Zakharov. A musical comedy based on A. Tolstoy’s story “Count Caliostro” (Gorin’s screen version). Having come to Russia, the great magician did not even suspect the surprises this country was preparing for him. While he called the dead into being and revived the statues, there were happening the real miracles around him… DVD 1984
FREEZE--DIE--COME TO LIFEFRE 105 min., Russian with English subtitles, Directed by Vitaly Kanevski. Awarded the Best First Film at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival, this autobiography set in the Soviet Far East just after World War II depicts the action in a small mining community where the border between the local gulag and the village proper seems impossible to detect. VHS1989
THE GENERAL LINEGEN 90 min., Russian with English subtitles, Directed by Sergei Eisenstein. "General Line" presents yet another classic by Eisenstein. Begun in 1926, this silent film merges the blacks, whites, and grays of the film to resemble the sounds and tones of a symphony orchestra. VHS1926
GENTLEMAN OF FORTUNEGENT 88 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Alexander Seryi. A noble kindergarten teacher sets out to save Alexander the Great's helmet from a band of thieves, using his own likeness to a dangerous criminal to infiltrate their ranks. Yevgeni Leonov (Autumn Marathon) tops the cast of this very funny tale of law and disorder. DVD1971
THE GIRL WITH THE HAT BOXGIR 67 min., Russian titles with English subtitles. Directed by Boris Barnet. Patterned after American slapstick, a young woman is caught in a madcap chase for a winning lottery ticket. VHS1927
GOLEM: THE PETRIFIED GARDENGOLM 84 min., English and other languages, with English subtitles. Directed by Amos Gitai. A revelation from one of the world's great filmmakers. Amos Gitai turns his iconoclastic gaze to the collapse of the Soviet Union in a magnificent, wry, and oddly humorous film that stretches across the vast Russian plain. Daniel is an art dealer with bases in New York, Tel Aviv, and Paris. He inherits a collection in Birobidzhan, the autonomous Soviet Jewish republic in the far reaches of Siberia. Daniel embarks on a trip to find the collection, including a giant statue of a Golem, by whatever means necessary. As he travels, he glimpses the painful aftermath of the Soviet Union's collapse. This brilliant epic stars Jerome Koenig, with supporting roles by B-movie legend Sam Fuller (Shock Corridor, The Naked Kiss) and Fassbinder's muse Hanna Schygulla (The Marriage of Maria Braun). DVD1983
THE GUARDGUA 110 min., English and other languages. Directed by Alexander Rogozhkin. Based on an actual event, this scathing retort to the glossy military fanfare of the Brezhnev era exposes the brutal army practice of hazing first-year conscripts. Shot in gritty black and white, this shocking study in organized sadism captures the psychology of army conscripts enduring the nightmarish conditions as they escort hardened criminals on a high-security train from one prison to the next. VHS1989
GYPSIES ARE FOUND NEAR HEAVEN GYPS 101 mins., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Emil Lotyanu. The film is based on early stories by the outstanding Soviet writer Maxim Gorky. There are several interwoven love lines in this beautiful, poetic drama: of the proud beauty Rada who bewitched the horse thief Loiko Zobar, of golden-haired Yulishka who was in love with Loiko, of noble Siladi, passionately enamored of Rada… The action in the Gypsy camp is set against the background of lifestyle and traditions of the Austro-Hungarian Empire’s provincial outskirts – the late 19th century Bessarabia. DVD 1976
HAMLET HAM 140 mins., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Grigori Kozintsev. Kozintsev's film is faithful to the architecture of the play, but the text (based on Pasternak's translation) is heavily truncated, achieving a total running time of 2 hours 20 minutes (from a play which lasts four hours in full performance). The opening scene of the play is cut entirely, along with scenes 1 and 6 of Act IV, but other scenes are represented in sequence, even though some are drastically shortened. (Hamlet's final speech is reduced simply to "The rest is silence.") There is some resequencing of material in Act IV to illustrate the outwitting of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern on the voyage to England. Kozintsev seeks constantly to represent the content of the play in visual terms, and there are notable sequences which are constructed without the use of dialogue (e.g. the opening scene in which Hamlet arrives at Elsinore to join the court's mourning, and the vigil awaiting the appearance of the ghost). 2 DVDs 1964
Happy Go Lucky PECH 100 min. Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Vasiliy Shukshin. "Happy Go Lucky" is a sad and humorous story about the Siberian tractor driver Ivan Rastorguyev who is travelling with his wife Nyura Rastorguyeva to a Black Sea resort, and about their first visit to Moscow. During their trip to the south sea, the domestic pair from the distant Altaian village meet a variety of interesting characters along the way. DVD 1972
HEART OF A DOGHEAR 1988, 131 min. Russian without subtitles. Directed by Vladimir Bortko. It seems impossible to create screen images of M. Bulgakov's genius phantasmagoria. But this attempt of the film creators resulted in a brilliant success. The film tells the story of Professor Preobrazhensky and his young colleague Dr. Bormental, who inserted the human's hypothalamus into a dog's brain. Couple of weeks later the dog transformed into a human. The Soviet classic film poses the question: "Is anybody who looks like a man, really human?" DVD1988
HEIGHTHEIG 1957, 88 min. Russian without English subtitles. Directed by Aleksandr Zarkhi. A classic Soviet drama, has been named the best film of 1957 in Soviet Union. The Russian Ebicot (Height) is based on a novel by E. Vorobiev. As was typical with Soviet films of the era, there is no individual hero or heroine: collectivism is the order of the day. The plot involves the construction of a huge blast furnace that will supply thousands of jobs in a depressed community. As the local citizenry pulls together to assemble the furnace in record time, several romances develop. As a contrast, one of the workers is derelict in his duty, suffering mightily as a result. Ebicot was Russia's entry in the Karlovy Vary Film Festival of 1957. DVD1957
HELLO, I'M YOUR AUNT!HELL 1975, 97 min. Russian without English subtitles. Directed by Victor Titov. This film takes place at the start of the 20th century. Unemployed Babs Baberlei finds himself in a wealthy home. He must change into women’s clothes and play the part of a millionaire aunt, in order to help two youngsters marry their beloveds… DVD1975
HOPELESSLY LOST/THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN DRUSLOST01A 93 min., Russian without English subtitles. Directed by Georgii Daneliia. Hopelessly Lost is a Soviet adventure comedy based on Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. It was entered into the 1974 Cannes Film Festival. DVD 1974
THE HOUSE BUILT BY SWIFT HOU1 138 min., Russian without English subtitles. Directed by Mark Zakharov. The English writer Johnatan Swift has built an astonishing house. Reality has merged with fiction in it. Literary characters have also revived there. The master of the house tries to expose a secret sense of the objective reality for the people by telling us incredible and true stories. Maybe he even makes an attempt to remake life. DVD 1982
HOW PETER THE GREAT MARRIED OFF HIS MOOR DRUSPETE01A 96 min., Russian without English subtitles. Directed by Aleksandr Mitta. In the courts of Paris, the Moor Ibragim romances a French countess and finds himself in trouble when she gives birth to a black child. He leaves France for St. Petersburg, and upon arriving Ibragim expresses he is done with love, as his lover denounces him as a savage and his son is never fated to know his father. In an attempt to help Ibragim, as well as tie him into the nobility of Russia, his godfather Peter the Great announces Ibragim and Natasha Rtishcheva are to be wed, to the despair of the family and the her current suitor. Ibragim however, refuses the marriage on the grounds that he believes Natasha is in love with another. This angers the czar who in turn begins to alienate both Ibragim and Natasha's family from his favor. The conundrum plays out in humorous and dramatic ways and eventually resolves in a pleasant and light-hearted manner. Based on a book by Pushkin. DVD 1978
I AM WALKING ALONG MOSCOW
(Ya Shagayu po Moskve)
WALK 74 min., Russian without subtitles. Directed by Georgi Danileyiva. "I Am Walking Along Moscow" aka "Ya Shagayu Po Moskve" is a charming lyrical comedy that was nominated for Golden Palm at Cannes Film Festival. Daneliya proved that it is possible to create a masterpiece in the most difficult genre of romantic comedy. Made by the team of young and incredibly talented artists that besides Daneliya included writer/poet Gennady Shpalikov, composer Andrei Petrov, and cinematographer Vadim Yusov (who had made four films with Andrei Tarkovski), and the dream cast of the talented actors even in the smaller cameos, "I Am Walking Along Moscow" keeps walking victoriously through the decades remaining deservingly one of the best and most beloved Russian comedies and simply one of the best Russian movies ever made. Funny and gentle, dreamy and humorous, romantic and realistic, the film is blessed with the eternal youth and will always take to the walk on the streets of Moscow new generations of the grateful viewers. DVD 1963
IL'YA MUROMETS ILY1 75 min., Russian without English subtitles. Directed by Vladimir Toropchin. Animated. Il'ia Muromets is the third installment in the animated trilogy about Russian bogatyrs, following Konstantin Bronzit's Alesha Popovich and Tugarin the Serpent, 2004, Il'ia Maksimov's Dobrynia Nikitich and the Serpent Goryny, 2006. Like the other two animated features, Il'ya Muromets exploits the tradition of the bylina about Il'ya Muromets, one of the three bogatyrs, which belongs to the legends about Prince Vladimir and Kievan Rus'. DVD 2008
THE INNER CIRCLEINN2 139 min., English. Directed by Andrei Konchalovsky. A love story about a young Russian couple during Stalinist times. With the hiring of Ivan, the young husband, as the Kremlin's projectionist, the young couple witness the brutal truth behind Stalin's propaganda and are asked to betray everything they hold dear. VHS1991
THE IRONY OF FATE OR "ENJOY YOUR BATH" IRO3 185 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Eldar Ryazanov. A romantic classic, Ironiia Sud'by (The Irony of Fate) is a lighthearted story of how fate brings together two people on New Years. Zhenia, a Moscow surgeon, is mistakenly flown to Leningrad after a drunken bachelor's sendoff at a bathhouse with his friends. Not realizing that he is in the wrong city, he stumbles back to what he believes is his apartment only to find the true woman of his dreams. DVD1975
IVAN THE TERRIBLE, Part 1 and 2IVA 1, IVA 2 99 min., Russian with English subtitles. A landmark project in all respects and one of the boldest achievements of Russian cinema. In this first part of a remarkable dramatic account of the first Russian Czar, Ivan Groznyi faces treachery within his own family and fights ruthlessly to maintain his power. Prokofiev's stunning score adds to the grandeur of Eisenstein's vision. VHS1944, 1946
IVAN THE TERRIBLE, Part 1 and 2 IVA 4 99 min., Russian with English subtitles. A landmark project in all respects and one of the boldest achievements of Russian cinema. In this first part of a remarkable dramatic account of the first Russian Czar, Ivan Groznyi faces treachery within his own family and fights ruthlessly to maintain his power. Prokofiev's stunning score adds to the grandeur of Eisenstein's vision. DVD 1944, 1946
IVAN VASIL'EVICH CHANGES PROFESSIONS / IVAN VASILEVICH: BACK TO THE FUTURE IVA3, IVAN1, IVAN 93 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Leonid Gaidai. A comedy based on Bulgakov's play, Ivan Vasil'evich. Inventor Shurik constructs a time machine that accidentally sends him, the apartment building superintendent, and a thief to the palace of Ivan the Terrible, while the notorious monarch finds himself in present day Moscow. This wacky sci-fi comedy was one in a series in which Aleksandr Demyanenko portrayed Shurik. DVD1973
KINDERGARTENKIN1 160 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Yevgeny Yevtushenko. Largely autobiographical, Kindergarten is poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko's recollection of his boyhood years during World War II in Russia and the evacuation of Moscow in 1941. The film assumes a poetic form of storytelling as Yevtushenko recreates the overcrowded railway stations, Nazi planes, women bandits, passengers and villagers he encounters.
Available at Herman B. Wells Library in Kent Cooper Room-Video Browsing Area.
VHS1983
KIND MENKIN3 77 min., Russian without English subtitles. Directed by Karen Shakhnazarov. Gordei Kabachkov, a professional con artist, decided to make a career in science and was very successful. Settled in a certain Institute of ancient culture, he quickly wraps all the “kind men”—members of the scientists’ soviet—around his finger, and defends his dissertation. From there, securing the director’s chair was simply a “technical matter". DVD1979
KING LEAR KING2 132 mins., Russian w English subtitles. Directed by Grigori Kozintsev. King Lear, old and tired, divides his kingdom among his daughters, giving great importance to their protestations of love for him. When Cordelia, youngest and most honest, refuses to idly flatter the old man in return for favor, he banishes her and turns for support to his remaining daughters. But Goneril and Regan have no love for him and instead plot to take all his power from him. In a parallel, Lear's loyal courtier Gloucester favors his illegitimate son Edmund after being told lies about his faithful son Edgar. Madness and tragedy befall both ill-starred fathers. DVD 1971
KINFOLK KIN2 90 min. Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Nikita Mikhalkov. Intended as a satire on the urban/rural dichotomies in Russia, the film features Nonna Mordyukova as Maria Konovalova, a grandmother who is left to continue living on her own in the countryside when her daughter and family move to the big city of Moscow. Unnerved at being left alone and curious about what the urban attraction is anyway, Maria travels to her daughter's place and stays on for awhile. She sticks her unwanted nose into everyone's business -- daughter's, granddaughter's, ex-husband's, son-in-law's, and neighbors' too. By the time the meddlesome woman has alienated everyone around her (no wonder her family left), she realizes what she has done and bids a sniffling farewell as she heads to the train station and home -- but her family cannot leave it at that and decides to at least say good-bye on a better note. DVD 1981
LADIES INVITE GENTLEMENLAD3 72 min., Russian with no English subtitles. Directed by Ivan Kiasashvili. A man to love, children, a quiet family life—that’s what our heroine dreams about. She’s made for such a life—but something isn’t working out. No, she isn’t waiting for Prince Charming. She’s willing to compromise, as long as there’s love and understanding. DVD1980
THE LADY WITH THE DOGLAD/LAD1 89 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Josef Heifitz. Anton Chekhov's story of a bored, middle-aged married banker from Moscow who meets a young married woman while on vacation at Yalta comes to life in this Russian film. VHS/DVD1960
LETTER NEVER SENT LET2 96 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Mikhail Kalatozov. The great Soviet director Mikhail Kalatozov, known for his virtuosic, emotionally gripping films, perhaps never made a more visually astonishing one than Letter Never Sent. This absorbing tale of exploration and survival concerns the four members of a geological expedition, who are stranded in the bleak and unforgiving Siberian wilderness while on a mission to find diamonds. Luxuriating in wide-angle beauty and featuring one daring shot after another (the brilliant cinematography is by Kalatozov’s frequent collaborator Sergei Urusevsky), Letter Never Sent is a fascinating piece of cinematic history and a universal adventure of the highest order. DVD 1959
LITTLE VERA LIT2 110 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Vasily Pichul. This is one of the most controversial films ever produced in the Soviet Union. In addition to being the highest grossing film in Soviet history, this historic film examines such previously taboo subjects in the Soviet Union as drugs, promiscuity, nudity, and domestic violence. It focuses on working-class life in Gorbachev's new open society and is a daring look at a world of simmering sensuality and brutal candor. Natalya Negoda portrays a sullen, sultry woman who is torn between her brooding lover and her bitter parents in this smoldering drama. The film is recommended for mature audiences. DVD1988
LOVE BY REQUESTVYL 84 min., Russian with no subtitles. Directed by Sergei Mikaelyan. 2 people (Igor, an ex-athlete aimlessly living and chasing rubles to get drunk and Vera, an ugly duck librarian) try to find their luck by planning to fall in love with each other by means of "psychological conditioning". Intelligent, funny and heartwarming movie from 1982. The movie was show as part of a Oleg Yankovsky retrospective at filmfest muenchen 2003. DVD1982
MAD LOVE: THE FILMS OF EVGENI BAUER MADL 144 min. Silent with film score. Russian film poet Evgeni Bauer combined the technical virtuosity of D.W. Griffith with the haunting terror of Edgar Allen Poe and the artist's eye of Johannes Vermeer. During his brief four-year career, Evgeni Bauer created macabre masterpieces. They are dramas darkly obsessed with doomed love and death, astonishing for their graceful camera movements, risque themes, opulent sets and chiaroscuro lighting. For many decades, Bauer's films were buried in the Soviet archives-declared too "cosmopolitan" and bizarre for the puritanical Soviet regime. Twilight of a Woman's Soul (1913)-Bauer's first surviving film tells the story of a society woman who kills her rapist and must make a new life for herself when her husband leaves her. After Death (1915)-explores the psychological hold of the dead over the living. In the Dying Sun (1916)-an artist obsessed with the idea of capturing death on canvas becomes fixated on a mute ballerina. DVD1913-
1916
MADE IN THE USSRMAD 82 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Svyatoslav Tarakhovsky/Vladimir Shamshurin. When a high school student steals an audio recording from the school, the new school director initializes extreme measures to weed out this "enemy" of the school. With characteristic socialist propaganda, the director mobilizes most of the school to strive together to build what is a microcosm of the Communist state - punishing the "enemies of the people" and enduring great hardship for the sake of a perfect happiness which awaits them. VHS1990
THE MAN IN A CASEMNI 80 min., Russian without subtitles. Directed by Isidor Annensky. Belikov, who teaches Greek in a village school, loves to keep his things in a small case. He is fearful of everything and himself lives, as if in a case, by the principle "in case something bad happens." He literally terrorizes the school and the village inhabitants with this principle. Hope appears when Varenka arrives in the village and turns out to be "not averse to getting married, if only to a teacher of the Greek language." But the undertaking of marriage ends with a colossal scandal in a truly dramatic finale. DVD-PAL1939
MAN WITH THE MOVIE CAMERAMAN5 68 min., Silent with film score. Directed by Dziga Vertov. Described as an “experiment in the language of pure cinema”, the film is perhaps the most dazzling and sophisticated work not only of Soviet but of world silent cinema. In part, it is a panorama of and a manifesto on the nature of socialist society in the late 1920s, but it is especially a revelation of the possibilities of non-acted, nonfiction films. DVD1929
MARIA’S LOVERSMAR2 109 min. English with English subtitles. Directed by Andrey Konchalovskiy. When her teenage sweetheart Ivan returns home from WWII, Maria eagerly accepts his marriage proposal, looking forward to a lifetime of happiness. But her joy is short-lived when Ivan’s dark past shrouds their wedding night in misery, driving a wedge between them that neither knows how to remove. Confused and depressed, Maria attempts to mend her true love’s heart despite the advances of other suitors. But when a traveling musician hits the right note, Maria struggles to justify her unfulfilling life.DVD1984
MIMINOMIM 97 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Georgy Daneliya. The song about a little bird, “Chito-Grito”, was sung by the whole country, and many of the film’s lines became catch-phrases after the release of this cult comedy of the 1970s. Valio Mizandari’s helicopter serves small villages in the mountains of Georgia. The pilot is loved by everyone and nicknamed “Mimino (“falcon" in Georgian), but he dreams of piloting large international airplanes, so he leaves for Moscow. As the film progresses, the open-hearted and good-natured Mimino invariably finds himself in funny, sad, and sometimes dramatic situations... DVD1978
THE MIRRORMIR2, MIR 106 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky. The looking glass is not merely cracked but shattered and we see the jagged, jumbled reflections of its shards, images of Tarkovsky's childhood mixed with fragments of his adult life--a child's wartime exile, a mother's experience with political terror, the breakup of a marriage, life in a country home--all intermingled with slow-motion dream sequences and poetic chunks of stark newsreels. DVD, VHS1974
MISS MENDMIS 257 min., From a French print, with French title cards. Made in the tradition of French mega-serials like Les Vampires and Fantomas, this silent Russian serial offers excitement in every installment, along with some pointedly pro-Soviet propaganda. Three reporters and an office girl attempt to stop a bacteriological strike against the U.S.S.R. by some powerful western industrialists. Director Fyodor Otsep broke into film with his screenplay for 1916's Queen of Spades. Star Boris Barnet also collaborated on the screenplay and served as an assistant director. VHS1926
MISTER DESIGNERMSTR 104 min., Russian (no English subtitles) Director: Oleg Tepzov. Famous decorator, maker of mannequins Platon Andreyevich has been long trying to compete with God wishing to create a chef-d'oeuvre, over which time would have no power. To decorate a show window of a jewelry shop, he picks a model - young girl in her final stage of tuberculosis. It is clear that the girl will soon die, therefore great is the decorator's amazement, when, after 6 years, he encounters that very young lady who is presented to him as a wife of a rich merchant whose house he is supposed to decorate. The rich merchant Grilyo is dead set to learn more about his wife's past, to which, he suspects, Platon Andreyevich holds a key. DVD 1988
MOONSHINERS SAM1 100 min., Russian without English subtitles. Directed by Leonid Gaidai. Three comedy novellas satirizing the process of alcohol production at home (moonshine production). DVD 1976
MOSCOW DOES NOT BELIEVE IN TEARSMOSD,
MOSC
150 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Vladimir Menshov. Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, this is the enchanting drama of three women struggling to establish themselves in Russia's huge and often impersonal capital city. Beneath the film's charming exterior, it is a truthful, moving portrait of the plight of women in Russia, depicted over the span of two decades. DVD1981
THE MOST CHARISMATIC AND THE MOST ATTRACTIVE ONE DRUSTMCA01A/B 80 min., Russian with no English subtitles. Directed by Geral’d Bezhanov. Nadya Klyueva is a single woman. Persuaded by her friend, she decides to charm her co-worker whom she doesn't really love, but who is the most popular man around. DVD 1985
MOTHERMOTH 87 min., silent with music. Directed by Vsevolod Pudovkin. Mother is the chronicle of an individual's transformation from political naiveté to Marxist awareness. Set during the 1905 Revolution and adapted from a novel by Maxim Gorky, the film details the plight of a working class woman. The film, though, is more than just an exercise in propaganda. It is a dramatic tale of conflict and love - most specifically, a mother's love for her son - whose emotional elements are effective on a universal, human level. DVD1926
MY CHILDHOODMYC 100 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Mark Donskoi. In the opening chapter, the four year old Maxim Gorky is placed under the care of his cruel grandfather and his loving grandmother. After experiencing the misery of abuse and poverty with his new family, Gorky is forced into the streets and becomes a wandering beggar. VHS1938
MY FRIEND IVAN LAPSHINLAP*95 min. Russian without subtitles. Directed by Alexei German. The film is based on the short stories by Yurii German and set in mid1930s Stalinist Russia. The young boy Alexander lives in a Russian provincial town in a communal apartment with his father and their neighbors Ivan Lapshin and Vasili Okoshkin, both policemen. Lapshin and his team are trying to track down a criminal, Soloviev. Meanwhile, Lapshin’s best friend, the writer Khanin, grieving his wife’s sudden death, arrives in Unchansk. The events, conflicts and relationships are seen through the eyes of young Alexander, creating an emotional narrative that weaves together childhood memories and fantasies. DVD1983
MY NAME IS IVANMYN 100 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky. This film, based on the V. Bogomolov story about a young boy deprived of his childhood by war. Set during World War II, twelve year old Ivan is bent on revenge after his family is killed by German soldiers. Because of his youthful size and agility, Ivan becomes a spy for his homeland and risks his life as he crosses the German border. He makes a new family out of the Russian soldiers who find his courage to be an inspiration. VHS1964
MY TENDER AND AFFECTIONATE BEAST TEND 109 min. Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Emil Loteanu. The film is based on a story by the Russian writer Anton Chekhov. Sergei Kamyshev, a successful investigator, during his visit to his friend Count Korneyev, met 16-year-old Olenka. Quite unexpectedly, they learn that the young woman is going to marry an old estate manager, Urbenin. DVD1978
A NEST OF GENTRYNES 105 min., Russian without English subtitles. Directed by Andrei Milkhalkova-Konchalovkovo. The film’s protagonist Fyodor Ivanovich Lavretskii returns home after living in Paris for 11 years. Disappointed with life, betrayed by his wife—that’s the condition our hero finds himself in at the start of the film. Soon he falls in love with the charming daughter of his cousin, Liza. From the newspaper Lavretskii learns about his wife’s death, and his relationship with Liza is complicated by memories of his wife. DVD1969
THE NEW ADVENTURES OF THE ELUSIVE AVENGERSELU2 1968, 82 min. Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Edmond Keosayan. A sequel to the film Elusive Avengers, recounting the adventures of the magnificent foursome of brave teenagers assigned by their commanders to get the operational map of an important area’s fortification. Having learnt that this top-secret map is being kept in the Counterintelligence Chief’s safe, one of “the elusives,” Danka, pretends to be a bootblack and puts up and observation post by the Counterintelligence headquarters. Bys tagging a distracting operation, the friends steal the map from the safe. The Counterintelligence people go to great lengths to order to recover the operational map. DVD1968
THE NEW BABYLONNEW silent with English titles. Directed by Grigori Kozintsev. The Paris Commune of 1871 represents a historic moment that could have led to momentous changes had it succeeded. This early silent Soviet production is based on the events of that often overlooked "forgotten revolution." It dramatizes the fight of the Communards through the story of a young woman caught up in the struggle against the bourgeois. Told in eight parts, this silent epic captures the historic sweep of revolutionary Paris. Includes Dmitri Shostakovich's first film score. VHS 1929
NO GREATER LOVENOG 74 min., Dubbed in English. Directed by Frederic Ermler. Starring Vera Maretskaya. The World War II story of a Russian woman who turns her villagers into partisans for revenge against the Germans, who have killed her husband and infant son. VHS1942
OBLOMOVOBL 145 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Nikita Mikhalkov. Winner of the Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, and Best Screenplay awards at the Oxford International Film Festival, this film taken from Goncharov's novel of the same name depicts Oblomov, one of the most recognizable characters in Russian literature. Although good-natured, Oblomov is a sloth, and friends and acquaintances both plead with him to change his ways, and find themselves drawn to him. VHS1981
OCTOBER OCT2 102 min., Silent with English titles. Directed by Sergei Eisenstein. Commissioned by the Soviet Central Committee, this Eisenstein film celebrates the tenth anniversary of the Russian revolution of October 1917 in Petrograd (St. Petersburg). Filmed on location, October recounts the events from a political perspective, as the czarists are snide old men, Kerensky (head of the provisional government) is power-hungry, and the Bolsheviks are passionate, committed, and heroic. Eisenstein employs various cinematic techniques to achieve a striking dramatic effect and the score is composed by Shostakovich. DVD1927
ONLY OLD MEN ARE GOING TO BATTLEONL 87 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Leonid Bykov. The "old men" of this squadron were no older than twenty and had not been tested by the heat of battle or the bitterness of defeat. They had yet to experience the joy of victory, brotherhood cemented by blood, and first love. Considered one of the best films about WWII, this war musical attracted 44.3 million viewers in just its first year of rentals - a record in the history of world cinema. When it arrived on the large screen in 1973, moviegoers crowded the theaters, and the old and until then forgotten song "Smuglianka" was heard at nearly every step. DVD1973
OPERATION YOPER 96 min., Russian with English, French, Spanish, German, and Russian subtitles. Directed by Leonid Gaidai. This eccentric comedy comprises three novels which center on the figure and main hero, the slightly peculiar Shurik, who falls into the most unbelievable situations. In "Workmate" he re-educates the hooligan Verzil, who is serving 15 days; in "Delusion" Shurik prepares for an exam in a trance and safely passes; In "Operation Y" he saves a storehouse, which was already robbed by the director, from burglary by Balbes, Trus, and Byval. DVD1965
PAVEL KORCHAGINPAV 102 min., Russian without subtitles. Directed by Aleksandr Alov and Vladimir Naumov. Confined to his bed, Pavel Korchagin recalls the glorious days of his fighting youth: battles against the White Poles, participation in the revolutionary struggle, the building of railroads near Kyiv, the harsh existence marked by selfless labor and inhuman exhaustion, and finally the friend that Pavel loved throughout the entirety of his short and difficult life. DVD1956
PETER THE FIRSTPET1, PET2 Part I: 102 min., Part II: 100 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by V. Petrov. A two-part dramatization of Peter the Great's life, his struggle to drag Russia towards modern European lifestyles, and customs and the wars with Sweden to gain control of the Baltic Sea. VHS/DVD1940
PETER THE GREATPEE 380 min, English. Directed by Marvin Chomsky and Lawrence Schiller. Russia at the dawn of the 18th century—a vast, chilling mysterious land, almost medieval. A country led by a man whose curious, questing spirit is eager to learn all that is new. A monarch who brings his feudal country into the modern world. The power plays, love affairs and international intrigues are brought to life by a stellar cast, featuring Oscar winners Maximilian Schell, Vanessa Redgrave and Laurence Olivier. VHS1986
PIQUE DAMEPIQ 103 min., Russian with English subtitles. The Bolshoi Opera presents Tchaikovsky's opera based on Pushkin's short story “The Queen of Spades”. VHS1960
PIRATES OF THE XXTH CENTURYPIR 83 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Boris Durov. Russian cinema isn't well known for its action pictures, but this box office hit is more exciting than many Hollywood blockbusters and includes some thrilling martial arts combat to go along with the gunplay. Modern day pirates hijack a ship to steal its cargo of pharmaceutical opium, but when some brave members of the crew fight back, it leads to a deadly battle to the finish. Based loosely on a true story. DVD1979
PLANET OF STORMSPLA 73 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Pavel Klushantsev. A serious and visually interesting science fiction film from the Soviet Union, footage from which was later used in Curtis Harrington's Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet and the Roger Corman production Voyage to the Planet of the Historic Women (assembled by Peter Bogdanovich). This is the original (and much better) version, a compelling adventure in which Cosmonauts land on Venus and face the peril of alien monsters. DVD1962
PRINCE IGORPRI 105 min., Russian with English subtitles. The Kirov Opera presents Borodin's opera of the same name. VHS1969
QUÉ VIVA MÉXICO!QUE 85 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Sergei Eisenstein. A blend of the ethnographic, the political, the scenic, and the surreal, Qué viva México! is nothing short of brilliant and remains superior to the legion of films it strongly influenced. With sequences devoted to the Edenic land of Tehuantepec, the savage majesty of the bullfight, the struggles of the noble peon and the hypnotic imagery of the Day of the Dead, Qué viva México! is a vivid tapestry of Mexican life. The DVD also includes Romance sentimentale (1930, 20 min.), an attempt to apply montage theories to sound and visual editing, and Misery and Fortune of Woman (1929, 20 min.), intended to encourage safe clinics for women in Europe. DVD1931
THE QUEEN OF SPADESQUEE 87 min., Russian without English subtitles. Directed by Igor Maslennikov. The Queen of Spades (Pikovaya Dama) is Pushkin’s classic tale of obsession, converted to film. Young Hermann, playing cards at the officers’ table, listens intently to Count Tomsky (Vitaly Solomin). Tomsky tells the story of his grandmother, who in her youth lost heavily at cards and wheedled the secret of a particularly winning combination of cards from Count Saint-Germain. Hermann becomes infatuated by the idea of the secret that he will do anything to learn it. The film, directed by Igor Maslennikov, is an exquisite Soviet made-for-television film that is amazingly faithful to the Pushkin short story, and for those who love Russian or Soviet period pieces, it’s a joy to watch. DVD1982
QUIET FLOWS THE DONQUI 330 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Sergei Gerasimov. Based on Mikhail Sholokhov's Nobel Prize winning novel, this movie is a spectacular, sprawling epic of the Russian Revolution and an honest, intimate drama of two lovers lost in the storm of history. Within the sylvan hills of Russia's Don River valley, Grigori, a fiery and cruel young Cossack, takes up with Aksiniya, the wife of a fellow warrior. The brawling beauty of Cossack village life and the violent upheaval of World War I and the Bolshevik Revolution form a spectacular backdrop for a romance as real as it is tragic. Driven to deception and disgrace, the two lovers battle the condemnation of the old order and the dangers of a dawning new world. DVD1957
RASPUTIN (AGONY)RAS 104 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Elem Klimov. History's most bizarre madman comes to life in this story of the illiterate "prophet" who brought Russia to its feet and sparked the revolution that toppled the throne. Klimov captures the rise of the monstrous Rasputin, his influence over the royal court, and his lust for power that eventually threatens the House of Romanoff and all of Russia. VHS1985
THE RUNRUN 196 min., Russian with no English subtitles. Directed by Vladimir Naumov and Aleksandr Alov. The film is about a group of people who in other times wouldn't have anything in common, some of them innocent bystanders, some moral criminals. But nothing is straightforward and simple. From Russia "the run" continues to Constantinople, to Paris, back to Russia. Some of them have understood that they can`t live outside Russia and go back maybe to be happy, maybe not, some go back to face sure death for their crimes, some don`t go back and know that are going to miss homeland forever, some are comfortably well off (are they?) in exile. Sentimental without syrup, tragic and comical at the same time. DVD1970
THE SACRIFICE SAC, SAC1 145 min., Russian and Swedish with English subtitles. Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky. A dark and complex drama about redemption and nuclear holocaust. When a middle-aged intellectual in retirement on an island in the Baltic Seas witnesses signs of what he believes to be a nuclear holocaust, he offers to make the ultimate sacrifice in return for the salvation of humankind. DVD1986
SADKOSAD 90 min. Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Alexander Ptushko. Alexander Ptushko's colorful fantasy follows the seafaring adventures of the bearded hero from Novgorod, who must find and capture the elusive Bird of Happiness in order to free the city from an oppressive despot. Based on the eponymous Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov opera, Sadko was later re-edited and re-dubbed for a 1962 release in the U.S. under the title The Magic Voyage of Sinbad. DVD1952
SAKHAROVSAK 118 min., English. Sakharov, a nuclear physicist and father of Russia's H-Bomb, enjoys a privileged status in the Soviet Union until he and his wife challenge the system that controls them. In the midst of personal heartbreak and internal exile, Sakharov receives the Nobel Peace Prize. VHS1984
SCARECROWSCA 101 min., Russian with English subtitles, Directed by Rolan Bykov. Called the Soviet Lord of the Flies, Scarecrow is a haunting and touching film about a little girl who is ostracized by her cruel classmates. She learns about mob psychology the hard way, registering her bitter comprehension with a luminously expressive face.
Available at Herman B. Wells Library in Kent Cooper Room-Video Browsing Area.
VHS1985
THE SCARLET FLOWER SCAR1 Russian without English subtitles. Various directors and contributors. A compilation of famous Russian cartoons: The Scarlet Flower, Wishes Come True, Pictures from an Exhibition, The Nutcracker. DVD Var.
THE SEA GULLSEA 99 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Yuli Karasik. A sensitive, exquisitely acted version of Chekhov's great play set in provincial Russia. It is a penetrating study of the languid melancholia of the residents of an isolated country estate. VHS1971
SECOND CIRCLESEC 90 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Alexander Sokurov. A man confronts his father's death in a society cut off from spiritual values. VHS1990
SEEKERS OF HAPPINESSSEE 84 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Vladimir Korsch-Sabin. During the late 1920s, many improvised Jews searching for a better life made their way to Birobidzhan, the Soviet Jewish Autonomous Region on the Chinese border. This melodrama tells the story of a Jewish family’s immigration to Birobidzhan and their experiences as settlers on a collective farm in the area. While the family encounters hardships in adjusting to this new way of life (including son-in-law Pinya’s greedy, misguided search for gold), the character’s assimilation is ultimately shown as positive. While the film is essentially a Soviet propaganda piece emphasizing the utopian dream of Birobidzhan as a socialist Jewish homeland, the reality of the are was harsh and inhospitable. DVD1934
SIBERIADESIBE1 260 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Andrei Mikhalkov-Konchalovsky. Konchalovsky's 260-minute totem to the Soviet spirit must have been rattling, a precursor of sorts to Elem Klimov's Come and See (even Emir Kusturica's Underground), prone to poetic abstraction and exuding a magical-realist's reverence for history. Each part of the film is a decade-link in the Russian chain of history as seen and experienced by the people of a remote Siberian village, beginning in near-medieval dignity during the Russian Rev olution and sprawling tragically toward the industrial present. Each segment of the film is a mini-masterpiece that gets to the core of the Yelan people's obsessions, romances, and loyalties, set against and around sacred woods everlastingly skulked by a cute grizzly and eternal grandfather and above which geese dart and mark the skies and a northern star flickers with a haunting sense of majesty and fear. 2 DVDs1979
SIDEBURNSSID 100 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Yuri Mamin. A wild and woolly satire that pits a clique of young Russian rightists called "The Pushkin Club" against an anti-establishment rock group. While the rebellious rockers are downright vulgar, the seemingly respectable "Pushkinists" represent the real danger to society, recalling the early Nazis in their militaristic mindset and xenophobic attitudes. VHS1990
THE SILENT REVOLUTION: WHAT DO THOSE OLD FILMS MEAN, Vol. 3SIL 52 min, silent/sound. Directed by Grigori Kozintsev/various German directors. A landmark series of six programs produced for Britain's Channel 4 by one of the world's great film historians, Noel Burch. Burch takes us on a spellbinding journey into the early years of filmmaking in six countries--Great Britain, the U.S., Denmark, France, the U.S.S.R. and Germany. Using beautifully transferred prints gathered from the world's archives, Burch looks at how and why film became an art, and how it reflected social needs and problems. Each silent film is accompanied by a newly commissioned musical score in this unique look at how the whole art of film came into being. Great Britain, 1987. VHS1926- 1932
SITTING ON THE GOLDEN PORCHSIT 72 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Boris Rytsarev. Two kings, Fedot and Amphibrachiy, have lived peacefully next to each other for many years, but then Amphibrachiy disappears. The queen has difficulty coping with affairs and the state begins to fall into decay. Amphibrachiy’s daughter, Alyona, gets out of control, so her mother decides to find a husband for her. King Fedot has three sons: Paul, Peter, and Ivan, whom everybody considers fools. However, he manages to gain Alyona's heart, and having defeated Kashchei the Immortal, frees king Amphibrachiy from captivity. DVD1986
A SLAVE OF LOVESLA 94 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Nikita Mikhalkov. It is 1918 and the Bolshevik Revolution has just taken place. In southern Russia a film crew is attempting to finish a romantic melodrama, oblivious to the tide of change about to engulf them. Only the beautiful leading lady is able to recognize the political realities, as falling in love with a Bolshevik cameraman she finds herself caught up in the forces of transformation. VHS1978
SOLARIS SOL, SOL2 167 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky. From a futuristic orbiting space station come reports of strange behavior and unexplained hallucinations from the cosmonauts who inhabit it. The mind-bending images and altered consciousness surrounding the film seem to emanate from the planet itself as it communicates with its visitors, creating a psychological thriller. DVD1971
SPRING ON ZARECHNAYA STREETSPRI 100 min. Russian without subtitles. Directed by Marlen Khutsiyev. A young school teacher named Tanya works at a professional school. But it is not easy to get used to her new students, their constant attempts at flirting, their sometimes too manly jokes and comments. She is especially irritated by Don Juan-like behavior of Sasha Savchenko. She avoids his advances, and Sasha becomes so upset that he drops out of school. After a while, Tanya gets used to this new environment, becoming more and more attracted to Sasha.DVD-PAL 1956
STALKER STAL, STAL2, STAL3 in Russian, VHS without English subtitles, DVDs with English subtitles. Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky. Tarkovsky ventures on a Dante-esque journey into a mysterious region known as the "Zone." Sealed off by troops and barbed wire, the Zone is a hybrid of industrial wasteland and primeval forest, where mirages and mind-bending traps await the unwary traveler. Special guides, the Stalkers, have powers that enable them to penetrate the Zone. DVD1979
THE STEAMROLLER AND THE VIOLINSTE1 43 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky. Rescued from Russian film archives, this was Andrei Tarkovsky's diploma film for the Soviet State Film School. Before this video release, it was largely unseen even by some of the director's most fervent admirers. The story is a warm yet ironic one about the unlikely friendship between a young boy who loves to play the violin and a steamroller driver. In this simple yet deeply affecting early film, you can already appreciate the emerging talent of an artist who would go on to create some of the most profound works of world cinema. The film was co-written by Tarkovsky's fellow student, Andrei Konchalovsky. DVD1960
THE STONE FLOWERSTO1 107 min. Performed by the Bolshoi Ballet, this ballet was Prokofiev's last. Drawing on the rich heritage of Russian folk culture, the ballet recounts the story of the young stonecutter, Danila, betrothed to Katerina, but obsessed with creating the perfect malachite object. When the spirit of stone appears to him as the enticing Mistress of the Copper Mountain, he must decide between artistic perfection and the simple love of his village sweetheart. VHS1990
STORM OVER ASIASTOR 70 min., Silent with music track with English titles. Directed by Vsevolod Pudovkin. Vsevolod Pudovkin's epic of an exploited Mongolian fur trader who becomes involved in the Mongolian uprising against the British during the Civil War period. It is "the film of the destiny of the Occident, although its action takes place in the heart of Asia, on the plateaus of Tibet" (Robert Desnos). Notable for Pudovkin's lyrical/psychological montage which ends in an incredible storm scene which contains "all the dust and debris that Pudovkin could imagine. But how else was Pudovkin to end a film whose attraction for him had been its fable and exotic imagery, except by hyperbole?" (Jay Leyda). With Valeri Inkizhinov, I. Inkizhinov and A. Chistiakov. DVD1928
THE STRAY WHITE AND THE SPECKLEDSTRA 100 min. Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Sergei Solovyov. The year of 1946. In a poor provincial town, the ragamuffin boys are frenziedly drilled for combat, and at nights the local elite, gathered in a pool room, boasts of fictitious biographies, while bands of boys amuse themselves with bloody fights and trashy vacant plots… One of the most vivid staples of the postwar childhood were pigeons. They could be bought, sold or stolen. One day a beautiful white dove appeared over the town. Risking his life, Ivan caught the White. And immediately became the target of the “pigeon” mafia. DVD1986
STRIPED TRIPSTR 84 min., Russian without English subtitles. Directed by Vladimir Fetin. A Soviet cruise ship "Evgeni Onegin" is carrying cages with tigers and lions for a Soviet Circus. One loose monkey unlocks all cages, letting the tigers and lions out. Poor passengers and crew have no place to run. The captain abandons his post out of fear, and the monkey takes over the captain's post. The ship gets under total control by the tigers and lions. Only one lady is standing up to the challenge. Her name is Marianna, she loves animals, and she takes the situation under control. DVD1961
TAXI BLUESTAX 110 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Pavel Lounguine. Pavel Lounguine's first feature is a harsh critique of contemporary Soviet society, captured through the bleak and paternalistic relationship of a hard-drinking, fascist, anti-Semitic taxi driver and a dependent, alcoholic Jewish saxophonist. With a brilliant jazz score. VHS1990
TCHAIKOVSKYTCH 153 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Igor Talankin. Nominated for the 1971 Best Foreign Film Academy Award, Tchaikovsky demonstrates the inseparability of the composer’s music from his life, as each moment of happiness and tragedy is expressed through the magnificent ballets, operas, symphonies and love songs that flow from his pen. These masterpieces become an integral part of the film, given cinematic expression through Talankin’s sure-handed direction and the lavish resources afforded him by Mosfims Studios. The resulting film evokes such spectacles as Amadeus and Dr. Zhivago, a lavish cinematic symphony of choreographed sound and image, filmed at great expense in Russia, France, and England. DVD1971
THE THEMETHE 100 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Gleb Panfilov. The story involves the turmoil experienced by a Soviet dramatist who is vacationing in the Suzdal region. His discontent becomes pronounced as he questions the validity of his success and struggles with writer's block, while nevertheless absorbing the praise lavished upon him by his admirers. VHS1979
THREE SONGS OF LENINTHR 62 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Dziga Vertov. Three short films pay homage to the life of Russia's charismatic leader. VHS1934
TO KILL A DRAGON KIL1 116 mins, Russian (no English subtitles) Directed by Mark Zakharov. Lancelot, a knight-errant, challenges the Dragon personifying tyranny and despotism in order to put an end to his power over people. But one-man courage is not enough for such a victory, each of the parable film heroes must get rid of the inner slavery. DVD 1988
TRIAL ON THE ROADTRIA92 min. Russian without subtitles. Directed by Alexei German. The film is set in the winter of 1942 during the Nazi occupation of Russia in WWII. Partisan guerrillas, headed by Ivan Lokotkov, are testing the POW Lazarev, who briefly collaborated with the Nazis for survival. Lazarev is not executed, but instead he is given a chance to prove his loyalty. He has to go back to the Nazi controlled railway station, where everyone knows him, and to hijack a train with food supplies. Lazarev proves himself a hero.DVD1985
TRIUMPH OVER VIOLENCEORD130 min. Russian without subtitles. Directed by Mikhail Romm. Triumph Over Violence is mainly in the form of annotated excerpts of archival film and describes the rise and fall of fascism, focusing on the example of Nazi Germany. Romm's "Ordinary Fascism" pulls out all the stops in its selection of documentary material to draw the viewer not only into absolute horror about fascism and Nazism in the 1920s-1940s Europe, but also to a firmest of convictions that nothing of the sort should be allowed to happen again anywhere in the world.DVD1965
TWO COMRADES WERE SERVINGTWO 99 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Evgenii Karelov. Civil War. The Reds capture a brand new movie camera. At headquarters, it is decided to use this opportunity to conduct aerial surveys of the region. The former photographer, the soldier Andrei Nekrasov, is designated to be the operator. Under the "supervision" of Ivan Kariakin, recently demoted for disregard for military discipline, Nekrasov begins to fulfill his mission. The two comrades experience many dramatic events and adventures. But Kariakin returns to division headquarters alone... DVD1968
UNFINISHED PIECE FOR PLAYER PIANOUNF1 100 min., Russian with English subtitles (VHS); Russian without English subtitles (DVD). Directed by Nikita Mikhalkov. A bittersweet, humorous tapestry of human folly and lost dreams, this film, loosely based on Chekhov's play Platonov, chronicles the interlocking events on a warm summer day at the decaying estate of an aging widow. VHS, DVD1977
VERTICAL VRT 77 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Stanislav Govorukhin and Boris Durov. In a cabin on a glacier only two remain: a doctor and the radio operator Volodia (played by Vladimir Vysotsky). A foursome of brave men set out to conquer a peak in the Caucasus. However, a radiogram about a threatening storm is hidden from the alpinists by the leader of the exposition, who is hoping for a miracle. The difficult summit is successfully attained, and bad weather overtakes the daredevils only on the descent... DVD1966
VIY, OR THE SPIRIT OF EVIL VIY 78 mins., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Konstantin Yershov Georgy Kropachyov. The film is based on the story of the same name by the great Russian writer Nikolai Gogol.Viy is a colossal creation of simple folk’s imagination. The main protagonist of the film, the theology student Khoma Brutus, met him one night under some mysterious circumstances. A young woman died in the village, and poor Khoma was ordered to read the burial service over her. But that woman happened to be a witch. And Viy, the devil’s emissary on earth, was by the side of the deceased… Khoma saw him, accompanied by his retinue of vampires and werewolves, on the third, most horrible, night of his service… All the characters of this mystical story are heroes from the whimsical, twilight world, where dreams are interspersed with everyday life, reality with fantasy. The acclaimed master of fairy-tale films Alexander Ptushko directed this motion picture and staged all the special effects and stunts. DVD 1967
VOLGA VOLGAVOL 90 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Grigori Alexandrov. An unseen miracle of 1930's Soviet cinema, Volga Volga is a revalation, as popular and familiar to Russian audiences as Gone with the Wind is to American audiences. Yet this classic musical comedy that catapulted Lyubov Orlova into a Russian mega star, has ever been available to us, until now! The setting is a giant steamboat making its way up the Volga River. On board is a motley collection of amateur singers and dancers travelling to Moscow to participate in a musical contest. At their center is Lyubov Orlova, the great Soviet comedienne and musical star. A triumphant success upon its release, Volga Volga remains one of the most important and best loved films produced by the Soviet regime. VHS1937
WAR AND PEACEWAP 403 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Sergei Bondarchuk. The definitive film version of Tolstoy's epic novel about how Napoleon's 1812 Russian invasion affects two upper class families. Winner of the 1968 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, it was shot over five years, with over 120,000 extras for battle scenes, nearly 300 sets, 2,000 costumes and production design and art direction culled from more than 40 Russian museums. The film is notable for its gritty authenticity and its panoramic social and political portraits, especially the battle of Borodino. DVD1967
WE ARE FROM JAZZ WE1 84 min., Russian without English subtitles. Directed by Karen Shahnazarov. A student is expelled from music school because he loves jazz, and jazz at that time (film represents 1920’s) is a kind of music that represents USA capitalism. He hires two street musicians to form a band, and goes from one city to another trying to gain fame. DVD 1983
WELCOME, OR NO TRESPASSINGWELC 74 min., Russian without English subtitles. Directed by Elem Klimov. This extremely funny comedy occurs in a pioneer camp. The director of the camp, a formalist and a bore, does everything in his powers to turn the summer camp into a barracks. However, the children do not want to see his point of view, and showing invention and gumption, they make a fool of the “educator”, leaving him out in the cold. DVD1964
WHITE BIM, BLACK EARWHT 172 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Stanislav Rostotsky. Bim was unlucky at birth: due to a genetic quirk, the puppy turned out to be the wrong color for the offspring of a noble family of setters. However, someone turns up who considers the puppy's pedigree less important than his cheerful and sociable temperament. This lonely and aging man, Ivan Ivanovich, is a writer and hunter, and Bim becomes his loyal and devoted friend. The two are never apart, whether in the apartment in the city or in the woods. But misfortune strikes when Ivan Ivanovich is taken to the hospital. Bim's happy, tranquil days come to an end, giving way to an agonizing wait and search for his master. Bim's fate leads him to various people, some of whom, unfortunately, do not prove to be kind. DVD1977
WHITE SUN OF THE DESERTBEL 85 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Vladimir Motyl. This Soviet-era "Red Western" has developed a large following for its blend of quirky humor, military drama, action and music. It was ritually viewed by cosmonauts before embarking on space missions. A Red Army soldier is ordered to guard a wanted guerilla leader's harem, but the task proves to be more difficult than he initially had imagined. A classic of Soviet cinema. DVD1969
WINGSWIN1 90 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Larisa Shepitko. The fascinating portrait of a once-famous female fighter pilot, a loyal Stalinist, who cannot adjust to peacetime life. Regarded as Sheptiko's most controversial film, Wings, like Tarkovsky's The Mirror, addresses how Stalinism had permeated every aspect of daily life. Nadezhda Petrovna, a 41-year-old provincial school mistress and unmarried guardian of an adopted daughter, is forced to deal with the painful defenses she has developed against a generation of students who appear to be blind to the political passions that inspired youth in her time and made her a national hero. VHS1966
THE WITCH'S CAVEWIT3 81 min., Russian without English subtitles. Directed by Yuri Moroz. In the future, earthling explorers land on the planet Evur. Evur is similar to earth, with a biosphere and natives who resemble humans. There is something unusual about the primitive natives, who live amongst dinosaurs and are ruled by the tribe of Octyn-Hash, which fights with steel swords, although iron technology is unknown on Evur. The Octyn-Hash attack the researchers, and only Andrei Brius and Zhan are left alive. Zhan is taken prisoner and held in the Witch’s cave. It is up to Andrei to enlist the help of the natives and navigate the mysterious perils of this strange planet, so that he can rescue his friend. DVD1990
WITHOUT WITNESSWITW 90 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Nikita Mikhalkov. One night, he pays a visit to his ex-wife and finds out that she is planning to marry his old friend, whom he once slandered. Wary of exposure, he demands that she deny herself a personal happiness. His trump card is their son, who doesn't know that she is not his biological mother. For the sake of the son's peace of mind, she gives up her lover... DVD1983
THE YOUTH OF PETER THE GREATYOUP 140 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Sergei Gerasimov. The Tsar's adolescence and youth were filled with deadly dangers, as his life was continually threatened by plots devised by boyars, mutinous streltsy, and the ambitious, power-hungry tsarevna of Sofia. However, Peter is already proving himself to be in possession of the profound intellect, strong will, and clear sense of purpose that will help him disarm his enemies, whether apparent or hidden. Based on the novel Peter the First by Aleksei Tolstoi. DVD-PAL1980
ZOLUSHKAZOL 105 min., Russian without subtitles. Directed by Nadezhda Kosheverova. A tale of yore, which was born several centuries ago, and which has lived on ever since…" The authors of this picture retell the tale of Cinderella with such tenderness, humor, and humanity that many future generations will enjoy this film. This version of Cinderella centers on the daughter of a forester, who, insulted by her step-mother, receives a magical visitor. The guest is a witch, who with her charming page and magic wand, turns a tattered gown into an elegant ball dress. With a wave of her wand, the witch turns a pumpkin into a golden carriage, harnessed by horses. In this carriage, Cinderella travels to a ball, held by a fairy-tale king, and there she falls in love with a prince. DVD1947

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Russian Films

Title Code Description Format Year
44 DVD, 125 mins, Russian (with English subtitles)Directed by Ilya Khrzhanovskiy. Meat merchant Oleg, prostitute Marina, and piano tuner "simply Volodya" drop into an all-night bar in Moscow, where they are served by a narcoleptic bartender (three plus one is four) while each regales the others with made-up biographies. Oleg claims to work in President Putin's administration, supplying him with bottled water and his wife with liquor; Marina passes herself off as a marketing executive; and Volodya, the infamous lead singer of the rock group Leningrad, as a geneticist who clones twins (two times two makes four, again) in a laboratory that has been engaged in these experiments since the days of Stalin. After they separate, these fantasy realities, especially Volodya's, begin to dominate their everyday lives. DVD2005
NINETH COMPANY9ROTA, 9ROTA1 126 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Feyodar Bondarchuk. The year is 1988. Kranoiarsk. Liutyi, Vorobei, Chugun, Stas, and Dzhokonda meet at a draftee induction center in Krasnoiarsk. From there they are dispatched for training on the border of Afghanistan, where they meet Pinochet, who was drafted from Groznii, and Lieutenant Dyagalo, who becomes their commander in the coming months. After training they turn out to be heros in Afghanistan. They come under Lieutenant Khokhl and become comrades in arms with Afanacii and Kurbash, older members of the 9th company - the most reckless and militant of all Afghans. Soon the 9th company receives a task: to occupy a height of 3234 meters above the road and to secure the passage of the colony. DVD, DVD-PAL2005
ABSURDISTAN (ABSU) 90 min. Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Veit Helmer. Welcome to Absurdistan, a small village in the high desert mountains, just on the outskirts of reality, where magical visions and bizarre events fuse together. The village is facing a water shortage, but the men are too lazy to fix a rickety pipeline and the women are getting fed up with their good-for-nothing husbands. Led by young Aya, the women make a simple vow: "No water, no sex." The men's only hope is Temelko, whose long promised wedding with Aya is put on hold until he finds a solution for the water problem. DVD2008
ADAM'S RIBADA 77 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Vyacheslav Kristofovich. A family of women share a crowded flat, made all the more claustrophobic by their chaotic entanglements with men. Grandma is a mute and disabled old woman who must be cared for by her daughter, who in turn must oversee her own two daughters. VHS1992
ALADDIN'S MAGIC LAMPALL2 84 min., Russian, English and French language and subtitle options. Directed by Boris Rytsarev. The timeless fairy tale is brought to the screen in this vibrant Russian film, suitable for younger as well as older viewers. Anyone who dares to look at the beautiful daughter of the sultan is put to death, but love brings Aladdin to the lovely princess. An omnipotent genie from a magic lamp helps Aladdin stay alive while protecting his lover from a wicked wizard DVD1996
A LONG AND HAPPY LIFEDRUSALHL01A 76 min., Russian with no subtitles. Directed by Boris Khlebnikov. The young entrepreneur Sasha has two choices: having gotten compensation, peacefully part with his now-repaired house and leave the city with the girl of his dreams, or fight a dangerous battle with the new owners to protect the rights of the people who already live there. DVD2013
AND IN THE MORNING THEY WOKE UP ANDI 2003, 90 min. Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Sergei Nikonenko. Based on Vasily Shukshin’s unfinished novella “And in the Morning they Woke Up” and three of his other short stories, the film shows the adventures of eight men, who wake up in the morning at the police station and try to remember how they got there. DVD2003
ALEKSANDRAALEK 92 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Alexander Sokurov.Set in war-torn modern Chechnya this film depicts Aleksandra Nikolaevna as she visits her grandson who is one the best officers in his military division. The few days she spends with him opens up a whole new world to her. In this masculine world there are no women, warmth or comfort. Here life is poor and true feelings are hidden. Here matters of life and death are decided. For this his 16th film, director Aleksandr Sorukov wrote the screenplay in order to realize an old dream of his: Galina Vishenvskuiu, a legendary opera singer, in a leading role. In order to realize this dream the director and the singer traveled to Chechnya. In this film, Sorukov brilliantly connects two people who are close, yet far from each other, the same, yet somehow different. DVD-PAL2007
ANNAANNA 99 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Nikita Mikhalkov. Disregarding hard Soviet restrictions, including the censorship of home movies, Academy Award-winning director Nikita Mikhalkov (Burnt by the Sun) spent thirteen years surreptitiously filming his daughter Anna. Asking her the same five questions each year, Mikhalkov remarkably documents one of the greatest historical events of our time as seen through Anna's sweetening eyes. Beginning in 1980, six-year old Anna became the focus of Mikhalkov's examination of the effects totalitarian propaganda had on Soviet children. In an overwhelming manner, the maturity of Anna suddenly becomes harmonious with the collapse of communism and the rebirth of a liberated Russia. A spectacular montage of never-before-seen newsreels and notorious archival footage adds another dimension to a history lesson none of us are soon to forget. VHS1998
ANNA KARENINADENGANNA01A 130 min., English, Spanish, with English, French, and Spanish subtitles. Directed by Joe Wright. In 1874, in the Imperial Russia, the aristocratic Anna Karenina travels from Saint Petersburg to Moscow to save the marriage of her brother Prince Oblonsky, who had had a love affair with his housemaid. Anna Karenina has a cold marriage with her husband, Count Alexei Karenin, and they have a son. Anna meets the cavalry officer Count Vronsky at the train station and they feel attracted by each other. Soon she learns that Vronsky will propose Kitty, who is the younger sister of her sister-in-law Dolly. Anna satisfactorily resolves the infidelity case of her brother and Kitty invites her to stay for the ball. However, Anna Karenina and Vronsky dance in the ball, calling the attention of the conservative society. Soon they have a love affair that will lead Anna Karenina to a tragic fate. DVD2012
ANOTHER WOMAN, ANOTHER MANANO 96 min., Russian without English subtitles. Directed by Konstantin Khudiakov. He is a surgeon, she’s the wife of a powerful businessman. And neither is happily married. Their accidental meeting is fortuitous. Isolated from the world, they rediscover the forgotten feeling of love. Now they are a different woman and a different man. But at that very moment, the man’s former wife informs his lover that she is dying, and asks for her husband back… DVD2003
ANTON CHEKHOV'S "THE DUEL"DENGDUEL01A 95 min., English and Spanish. Directed by Dover Kosashvili. In ANTON CHEKHOV'S THE DUEL, escalating animosity between two men with opposing philosophies of life is played out against the backdrop of a decaying seaside resort along the Black Sea coast. Laevsky is a dissipated romantic given to gambling and flirtation. He has run off to the sea with beautiful, emotionally empty, Nadya, another man's wife. Laevsky has now grown tired of her, but two obstacles block his route to escape: he is broke, and he faces the absolute enmity of Von Koren, an arrogant zoologist and former friend who can no longer tolerate Laevsky's irresponsibility. Soon Laevsky confronts Von Koren, accusing him of meddling in his affairs, but Von Koren maneuvers a criticism Laevsky makes of their mutual friend, Dr. Samoylenko, into a challenge to a duel. Utterly discombobulated and honor bound, Laevsky agrees to this absurdity--a duel it shall be! A duel as comically inadvertent as it is inevitable. DVD2010
BANISHMENT DRUSBANI01A 150 min., Russian without subtitles. Directed by Andrei Zvyagintsev. A trip to the pastoral countryside reveals a dark, sinister reality for a family from the city. DVD 2007
BASTARDS (Svolochi) BAS 94 min., Russian with English subtitles. Based on a true story of teen criminals in the Soviet Union during World War 2. As alternative to prison they are trained in the mountains of Armenia for a mission in Nazi Germany to blow up an important installation. All but one boy dies. Most die during the rigorous training & some die in Germany. It is still unsure what is exactly true or not according to what faction one speaks with, but surely the fact that at the awards ceremony it was a heated moment amongst believers and non believers that the event ever took place. DVD 2006
THE BEST OF TIMES BEST 92 min. Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Svetlana Proskurina. Valentin and Valentina have a relationship. Valentin cheats on her with Katya, who's got a crush on him and ends up being married to her while he keeps seeing Valentina. After his death, some kind of friendship between Katya and Valya comes into being. DVD2007
APOCRYPHA: MUSIC FOR PETER AND PAULAPO 140 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Abel Al-Hadad. The film recounts about a little known period in the life of the great Russian composer Tchaikovsky. He is portrayed here not as the traditional gray-haired master whose genius and accolade are praised in all corners of the globe, but rather a hesitant young man as he visits his sister’s home for a few summer days. These “ordinary” people bestow on the artist love, care and spiritual support, helping him conquer the greatest trials and tribulations that ultimately lead him to find himself. To them, like to the creators of the film, Tchaikovsky is like an angel put on this earth to remind us of the higher calling of mankind. DVD2004
BLACK AND WHITEBLA 96 min. English with English subtitles. Directed by Boris Frumin. Lisa, a young Russian émigré studying medicine in New York, and Roy, an African-American building superintendent, bond as they eke out a meager living on the city's Lower East Side. However, their budding romance is thwarted by economic realities and personal responsibilities. Set in the early 1990s, before gentrification, Black and White captures the gritty locale as well as the difficulties of escaping a fringe existence. The film is populated by an assortment of bohemian artists, disenfranchised immigrants, sexual surrogates, and working class stiffs, who respond to life on the edge of society in different ways. DVD1991
BLACK ICEDRUSBICE01A 70 min. Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Mikhail Brashinskiy. She is: mysterious, irresistible, sharp. He is: handsome, confident, gay. She is always leaving someone. He thinks that he knows everything about himself. She ends up in an unbalanced struggle with an opponent that’s just too strong. He wants to be left alone. They haven’t met yet, and no one knows what could come of their meeting. On the Moscow streets, black ice... DVD2003
BLACK LIGHTNING BLA4 107 mins, Russian with English subtitles. The action of the film begins in the fall of 2009. Dmitry Maykov (Grigori Dobrigin), an ordinary university student at Moscow State University, is given a car for his birthday. His father (Sergei Garmash) gives him a black 1966 GAZ 21 Volga. However, this is not just a car, but the secret product of a Soviet defense contract, equipped with a rocket engine. Dmitry suspects none of this. He's not even excited when he finds an old record and a photo of three scientists in the glove box of the car DVD 2009
BREZHNEVBRE 4 parts, Russian without English subtitles. Directed by Sergei Snezhkin. This film is about the last days of Leonid Brezhnev, the Secretary General of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Brezhnev is sick and depressed, but he is still trying to enjoy some pleasures of life. He is hunting, eating, and sleeping a lot. While awake, he reflects on his life and his career, and is tormented by memories of his betrayal of Khrushchev (who promoted Brezhnev to the top). Meanwhile, the aging members of the Politbureau are growing nervous about the choice of a successor. Andropov anxiously interrogates the doctor about Brezhnev's imminent death. He asks, "How soon?" DVD2005
BRIGANDS: CHAPTER VIIBRIG 129 min., Russian, Georgian, and French with English subtitles. Directed by Otar Iosseliani. Vano, the main character, is the king of a country so beautiful and so rich that all the neighboring countries are jealous. But he is soon beset by treachery, and even his wife deceives him. The film is brilliant in its originality and awesome in its lessons of how history repeats itself. It was shot under difficult conditions in the director's native republic of Georgia as well as Paris. DVD1996
BROTHERBROT1, BROT 96 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Aleksei Balabanov. A simple man returns from his army service, coming home to St. Petersburg, where he finds his brother is now a contract killer for the Russian mob. Soon, both brothers are in the service of organized crime and they team up to kill a Chechen mafia boss. This riveting crime film addresses the social breakdown and accepted grimness of city life in the former Soviet Union. Lead actor Sergei Bodrov's superb performance won him well-deserved honors around the world, including the award for Best Actor at the 1997 Chicago International Film Festival. "A wonderfully mordant excursion through the new Russian thugocracy; the best Russian movie I've seen in years" (J. Hoberman, The Village Voice). DVD, VHS1997
BROTHER 2BRA3, BRA1, BRAT, BRAT-pal 125 min., Russian (only BRA3 has English subtitles). Directed by Aleksei Balabanov. In the sequel to Brother, Danila Bagrov travels to America to investigate the death of his brother and take revenge on his assassins. But he quickly falls into disfavor with the Russian and American mafias and the result is suspenseful and non-stop action as Danila fights his way through Chicago to eventually escape back to Russia. DVD, DVD-PAL, VHS, VHS-PAL2000
BUMERBUM 110 min., Russian without subtitles. Directed by Pyotr Buslov. Along the night streets of Moscow races a black BMW, fleeing from pursuit. A chain of fateful events, including a breakdown and a shooting, position four heroes - four friends outside the law. In a life without rules and no way back, the black beamer - high-powered and fool-proof, takes them all the further from Moscow to the crazy and ruthless backwoods of the all-Russian roads.No one wanted to kill. And no one wanted to die. But they will have to follow this path to its end. And the faithful beamer, which for many days passed as a home for the four friends, will slowly cool off in the snow-covered forest. There are paths which are better not to choose… DVD-PAL2003
BURNT BY THE SUN BUR1 134 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Nikita Mikhalkov. This film directed by and starring Nikita Mikhalkov won the Academy Award for best foreign film. Colonel Sergei Kotov (Mikhalkov) is a Red Army hero of the Revolution who is spending the summer in the country with his young daughter, his wife and her eccentric family. When his wife's childhood love suddenly appears, the idyllic summer day takes a surprising turn. DVD1994
BURNT BY THE SUN 2
Exodus
BUR2*180 min. An epic film about WWII directed by and starring Nikita Mikhalkov, a sequel to Burnt by the Sun (1994). The story of former general Kotov and NKVD officer Mitya Arsentiev continues. After five years of incarceration, Kotov (Nikita Mikhalkov), a former revolutionary hero betrayed by Stalin, escapes certain death in the Gulag and finds himself fighting at the front as a private. In 1943 Arsentyev is sent to the front to find Kotov and execute Stalin’s secret order. The film consists of three novellas about the experiences of former general Kotov, his daughter Nadya and NKVD officer Mitya Arsentiev during WWII.DVD2010
BURNT BY THE SUN 2
Citadel
BUR3 158 min. Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Nikita Mikhalkov. This is a second part of "Burnt by the sun" sequel. KGB Colonel Mitya's search for former Division Commander Kotov leads him to The Citadel - an impregnable German fortress on Russian soil where troops by the thousand are sacrificed in an ongoing siege. In this living hell, the two adversaries Mitya and Kotov are reunited in an encounter that will turn the destinies of both inside out. Acting on Stalin's orders, Mitya presents Kotov with Stalin's gift - a rehabilitation order signed by the great leader himself. Kotov arrives in Moscow a General, and returns to the house he knew before his arrest. DVD2011
BURY ME BEHIND THE BASEBOARDBURY
BURY2
117 min. (BURY) without subtitles, (BURY2) with subtitles. The film is about 8-year-old boy Sasha Savel’eva. He lives at his grandmother’s, because she doesn’t trust the raising of the child with her daughter, who has a new husband and who, in the opinion of the grandmother, is dissolute. The grandmother, a true tyrant, and the mother overburden the child.DVD, PAL-52009
CAN YOU HEAR ME?CAN 104 min. Russian without subtitles. Directed by Pyotr Shtein. A film about the friendship between a young boy and a dog that has to face multiple challenges and endure various hardships in the course of several years. DVD 2007
CHAMANE CHAM 90 min., Russian (w/English subtitles) Director: Bartabas. Home: What is it? Is it where you come from, to which you try with all your might to return? Or is it your destiny, to find which you must go somewhere else? One of the most beautiful and mysterious Russian films of the post-Soviet era, Chamane does not disclose the full import of its title until the last minute. Only then do we grasp the journey we have been watching unfold. The action begins in a Siberian gulag before the collapse of the Soviet Union. Two prisoners escape using Yakut horses: wily Anatolia, a shaman with a Jew’s harp, who knows the taiga and its spirits; Dmitri, a Muscovite with a violin, who wants only to go home. When Toli dies, or appears to die, this is something that Dmitri must try to do on his own. DVD-PAL 1996
CHEKHOVIAN MOTIFSCHM 120 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Kira Muratova. This film is based on two Chekhov works, a play and a short story. In a crowd of guests gathered to celebrate a wedding, the groom is horrified to see his former lover, who did away with herself not long ago. DVD2002
THE CHEKISTCHK 90 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Alexandr Rogozhkin. In 1917, secret police from the KGB forerunner, C.H.E.K.A., unleashed a reign of terror on all those considered enemies of the revolution. A Cheka officer interrogates, judges and then executes a wide variety of people who cannot fit into the new Soviet system, from Christians and Jews to former aristocrats. VHS1992
CHIC CHIC 92 mins. Russian, with English Subtitles. Directed by Bahtier Hudoynazarov. Chic received the Grand Prix award at the Open Russian Film Festival (Kinotavr) in Sochi, Russia, is a coy buddy film about three teenage friends and their quest to become 'chic' men. Their knowledge of haute couture comes from the impressive storefronts that line the shore of the resort town across the harbour from where they live. This inviting post-Soviet capitalist landscape beacons wealthy cruise ship travellers and butts up against a very different post-Soviet landscape: the mountainous terrain where the protagonists grew up, where their families struggle to make ends meet, and where reality is cold and harsh. Like the small commuter boats that ferry the boys back and forth between opposite shores (between the lands of rich and poor), the boys themselves glide across these boundaries with ease. DVD 2003
CHILDREN'S DISCO FROM SMESHARIKI SMES * 180 min. A collection of 60 animated music videos based on old and new children’s songs performed by a group of colorful spherical animal friends - Smeshariki. The collection includes cartoon videos of such famous children songs as “V trave sidel kuznetchik,” “Antoshka,” “Goluboi vagon” and many other Soviet classics. DVD-PAL/NTSC2010
A CHRISTMAS TREE WAS BORN IN THE WOODS ELO *74 min. A collection of winter holiday themed cartoons, including “V lesu rodilasi elochka”, “Novogodnee prikliuchenie”, “Novogodniaia pesenka Deda Moroza.” DVD-NTSC2007
CLASSMATES ODN 86 min, Russian. Directed by Sergei Solovyov. The film "Classmates" tells about the fate of graduates of one of modern Moscow school, one class. And to be more precise, the example of only three graduates of the classroom - one girl and two guys in love with her since elementary school - we will try to tell about their emotional climate of our times, our days. DVD-PAL 2010
CREATION OF ADAMCRE 93 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Yuri Pavlov. Andrey is a young man who fears his marriage may fall apart because his wife thinks he is gay. A series of events confirm these suspicions as Andrey meets Philip, an enterprising businessman who turns his life around. Philip shows Andrey how to love. VHS1993
CRIME AND PUNISHMENTCRIM 416 min., Russian with Russian subtitles. Directed by Dmitrii Svetozarov. This two-disc set is a serialized film adaptation of Dostoevsky's novel in eight 52-minute installments. DVD2007
CRUSHCRUS 2009, 95 min. Russian without subtitles. Directed by Pyotr Buslov, Aleksei German Ml., Boris Khlebnikov, Kirill Serebrennikov, Ivan Vyrypayev. Five short love stories which become the directors’ statements about love. A shoemaker, a reporter, a pavement hooker-in, a psychiatric patient and a young man released from prison are the main characters of the film, heroes in a time of no heroes. All of them have the important qualities of being openhearted and not afraid of loving. DVD2009
THE CUCKOOCUC 103 min., Russian, Finnish, and Lapp with English subtitles. Directed by Alexander Rogozhkin. September 1944, in a land torn apart by war, a Finnish sniper is labeled a coward by his compatriots; as punishment, he is chained to a rock and left to his own devices. Not long after a disgraced Russian Captain, en route to his court martial, is injured in an accident. Both men are about to find out they one thing in common. Wounded and emotionally tortured, they are taken in by Anni, a young resourceful war widow, who offers shelter to one while nursing the other back to health. None of them understands the others' languages, but it doesn't seem to matter. Isolated, the three unlikely roommates-a Finn, a Russian and a Lapp-overcome both comic and tragic misunderstandings to form a passionate three-way… relationship. Because after a day of hard work on Anni's farm, who needs words? DVD2002
DADDYDAD 94 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Vladimir Mashkov. There is no happiness in success if one has to forget one's past to achieve it. In this 1930s-era story of love, betrayal, and forgiveness, a talented young violinist goes to Moscow to continue his education. There he not only falls in love but also becomes successful and famous within a few years. But all this time he has had to hide his origins. When the truth is revealed, he must choose between renouncing his father or losing everything. DVD2004
DAY OF THE FULL MOONDAY1 90 min., Russian without English subtitles. Directed by Karen Shakhnazarov. The protagonists—“New Russians” and an old Uzbek, a successful killer and a popular DJ, a fair princess and an enigmatic monk, a foreign diplomat and a renowned poet… there’s a lot of them, and they’re all mysteriously connected. You’ll be immersed in strange events and memories on a poetic journey through time and space. DVD1998
DAYS OF ECLIPSEDRUSDAYS01A 131 min., Russian without English subtitles. Directed by Aleksandr Sokurov. A recently qualified medical doctor, Dmitri Malyanov, has taken a posting to a remote and very poor part of Soviet Turkmenistan. On top of his day job as a pediatrician Malyanov is undertaking research into the effects of religious practice on human health. His research has drawn the politically incorrect conclusion that religious faith does indeed improve health. However, as he attempts to write up his thesis various sorts of improbable, bizarre events take place one after another. DVD2005
DEAD MAN’S BLUFFDEAD 105 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Aleksei Balabanov. Trigger-happy sibling assassins Simon and Sergei work as errand boys for a sadistic kingpin of a provincial Russian town. But after they bungle a crucial drug deal and a crooked cop’s death squad grabs their briefcase of heroin, his patience wears thin. The brothers’ life and death quest to reclaim their stash initiates a messy turf war of beatings, torture, and close-quarter gun play. As the bodies pile up, Simon and Sergei discover that in the circus-mirror world of capitalist New Russia, cops, gangsters, lawbreakers, and lawmakers can be interchangeable. DVD2005
Day WatchDNE 140 min., Russian without English subtitles. Directed by Timur Bekmambetov. It has been some time since the grand finale of the original film. Anton (Khabensky) continues to fight the forces of Darkness while simultaneously attempting to find and save his son from the clutches of those same forces. But when vampires belonging to the Dark side start mysteriously being killed, and Anton is framed for their murders, he must put that goal on hold and try to escape the Day Watch that is looking for his blood. DVD-PAL2005
Doctor Zhivago DOCT 2006, 484 min. Russian without subtitles. Directed by Aleksandr Proshkin. The first Russian film adaptation of Boris Pasternak’s legendary Nobel Prize winning novel Doctor Zhivago. The deep personal drama of the young doctor named Yuri Zhivago plays out against the backdrop of social and historical upheaval, with his generation's hopes and desires wiped out by war and revolution. DVD2006
DOSTOEVSKY: A LIFE FULL OF PASSIONDOST 2011, 200 min. Russian without subtitles. Directed by Vladimir Hotinenko. The television series Dostoevsky: A Life Full of Passion covers a relatively long period of Fyodor Michailovich’s life: from the dissolution of the Pertrashevsky circle in December 1849 until the writer’s completion of the famous novel Brothers Karamazov in 1979. This period of time in Dostoevsky’s life was filled by a great number of dramatic events, including his exile to Siberia, the death of his first wife Maria Isaeva, his work with several literary journals, his acquaintance with Anna Snitkina and the death of his son Alesha. DVD1999
DREAMING OF SPACE (Космос как Предчувствие) COSM 87 min., no English subtitles. Aleksei Uchitel'’s Dreaming of Space, which won the prize for Best Film―the Golden St. George―at the Moscow International Film Festival in 2005, provides yet another recreation of the Soviet past. But thanks in no small measure to Aleksandr Mindadze’s script, this film is no exercise in nostalgia nor does it present a conventional expose of the evils of the Stalin era. Though there are some somewhat understated instances of repression in it, the critique is conducted at a more philosophical level, one hinted at in the title, which in a more literal (and better) translation would be “Space As Presentiment.” DVD 2005
EAST/WESTEAST 121 min., Russian and French with English and French subtitles. Directed by Regis Wargnier. Sandrine Bonnaire, Catherine Deneuve, Oleg Menchikov and Sergei Bodrov Jr. star in this moving drama about a tragic chapter in Russian history. A medic and his French wife return to Russia when Stalin invites exiles back to help "rebuild" the country at the end of World War II. While avoiding the executions that awaited many of those who returned, the couple is forced to endure bleak living and working conditions and the deprived circumstances threaten to drive them apart. Escaping to the West seems impossible until the arrival of a famous French actress opens a risky door of opportunity. From the director of Indochine. "Poetic, tragic and emotionally heart-wrenching" (Louse Keller, Urban Cinefile). DVD1999
EDGEEDG*124 min. The action takes place shortly after the end of the Second World War in the Siberian hinterland. Ignat, a veteran of the war and a talented locomotive driver, obsessed with speed and risk, ends up in a horrible accident, but is given a second chance. However, unable to control his addiction to racing and speed, he loses everything yet again. He sets out into the depth of Taiga in search of a legendary abandoned train. DVD2010
EINSTEIN: THE THEORY OF LOVEEIN 4 films, Russian with no English subtitles. Directed by Elena Nikolaeva. Science always came first in the life of the great scientist, and he had no time for romance… that is, until he met Margarita Konenkovoi. She was the only woman in his life to arouse strong romantic feelings in Einstein. Einstein soon found himself meeting his beloved over and over. At these meetings he would joyfully tell her about his scientific discoveries. But the great genius was oblivious to the fact that Margarita was a member of the NKVD. DVD2013
ELENA ELEN 109 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev. Elena and Vladimir are an older couple, they come from different backgrounds. Vladimir is a wealthy and cold man, Elena comes from a modest milieu and is a docile wife. They have met late in life and each one has children from previous marriages. Elena’s son is unemployed, unable to support his own family and he is constantly asking Elena for money. Vladimir’s daughter is a careless young woman who has a distant relationship with her father. A heart attack puts Vladimir in hospital, where he realizes that his remaining time is limited. A brief but somehow tender reunion with his daughter leads him to make an important decision: she will be the only heiress of his wealth. Back home he announces it to Elena. Her hopes to financially help her son suddenly vanish. The shy and submissive housewife then comes up with a plan to give her son and grandchildren a real chance in life. DVD 2011
ELIXIR ELI 75 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Irina Evteeva. Loosely based on tales by E.T.A. Hoffman, Elixir is an outstanding visionary animation employing some truly innovative techniques. Evteeva uses a wide range of textures, from paintings on glass to the human face on film, variously live-action, hand-painted, or super-imposed. The captivating result is a wonderland inhabited by fiery salamanders and winged spirits. Good fights evil in search of a life-giving Talisman whose finder will rule the world. Elixir is at once a visual mystery-play and a philosophical fairy-tale. VHS 1995
ESCAPE FROM AFGHANISTAN ESC 88 min., Dubbed in English. Directed by Timour Bekmambetov/Gennady Kayumov. A Best Director award-winner at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, the acclaimed Russian film Peshavar Waltz was purchased by Roger Corman's New Concorde and re-edited to put American characters in the spotlight. Even in this compromised form, it remains a compelling depiction of war in Afghanistan, based on actual events. An American reporter and doctor (British and French in the original version) come to a military base in Pakistan to document P.O.W. conditions. While there, the Russian prisoners rise up and take over the base, holding the visitors hostage and slaughtering their captors with no mercy. Clearly Corman purchased the film to exploit the recent American actions in Afghanistan, proving the old dog is still up to his old tricks. DVD 1994
ETERNAL RETURN DRUSETER01A 108 min., Russian only, no English subtitles. Directed by Kira Muratova. The heroes of the film are a man and a woman who haven’t seen each other in years. The man went up to her in a hat, but was so nervous that he forgot to take it off. They studied together, but haven’t seen one another in forever. He’s long lived in a different city and came here only on a business trip. He thinks: how would he share himself between his wife and his lover?Not one piece of advice is convincing enough; he loves both, but living with both isn’t in the cards. His visitor knocks on the door. But he keeps coming, even though he doesn’t know anyone else in the city. Again and again... DVD 2012
ЭЙФОРИЯ (EUPHORIA) EUP DVD, 74 mins, Russian (no English subtitles)Director:Ivan Vyrypayev. They saw each other only once. At a drunken wedding. Their eyes met. That was it. Something that they have never known before, something they cannot comprehend happened. Now they cannot live and breathe without each other. As if powerful a river stream, an almost cosmic magnetism, pulls them together with irresistible intensity. They feel as if they no longer belong to themselves, their relatives, their friends. She lives with her husband. He is a little older; she is still young and beautiful. They have a little daughter and a mad dog. Do they have love? DVD2006
EUGENE ONEGIN EUG1, EUG 149 min., Russian with English subtitles. The Bolshoi Opera presents Tchaikovsky's opera based on Pushkin's novel in verse. DVD, VHS 1998
EXPIATION EXP 120 min., Russian (no English subtitles). “Expiation” is the story about difficult post-war time. About destiny of the young lieutenant and the young girl, whose love passes through the hardest vital and moral ordeals. Set in an anonymous town in the western part of the Ukraine during the winters of 1945 and 1946, “Expiation” is doubtless a more demanding film, both in terms of plot development and as a statement of Soviet reality in the late 1940s. Many scenes become clear only upon a second viewing and even a denunciation in the style of Pavlik Morozov turns out to be less straightforward than one would expect. DVD 2012
FATHER AND SON FASN, FASN1 83 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Aleksandr Sokurov. In the companion piece to his 1996 film Mother and Son, Aleksandr Sokurov (Russian Ark) looks at the bond between a widowed Russian father and his son, a student at a local military school, who live together in a rooftop apartment overlooking the sea. From the innocently competitive games they play, to the hours spent quietly in the other's company, to the feelings of desperation, guilt and desired independence that threaten to tear them apart, Sokurov captures their intimacies with a dreamlike tranquility reminiscent of his mentor, Andrei Tarkovsky. "...offers a fresh and often startling vision of one of the most fundamental relationships between human beings" (Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times). DVD 2003
FAUST FAU 134 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Alexander Sokurov. This ponderous movie is regarded by its writer-director, the talented Russian mystic Alexander Sokurov, as the concluding section of a quartet of films on the subject of the corrupting effects of power, following on from his biographical studies of Hitler (Moloch), Lenin (Taurus) and the emperor Hirohito (The Sun). It won the Golden Lion at Venice last year but is a dull affair, made in German, set in 18th-century central Europe, shot in the Czech Republic and Iceland. It has the impoverished, lugubrious scholar Faust pursuing the meaning of life and taking up with Mauritius, a grotesquely repellent version of Mephistopheles. Mauritius works as the town's pawnbroker and moneylender and reveals during one of his pointless romps with Faust to have his penis attached to his backside. After much rambling talk, Faust sells his soul to Mauritius in order to have sex with the local beauty, Margarete. He signs the fatal contract with his own blood, at which point a blob of red provides the film's sole glimpse of a primary colour. DVD 2011
FIRST SWALLOW FIRS 73 min. Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Nana Mchedlidze. It happened at the dawn of the last century, when people in provincial Georgia knew nothing about soccer. One day Khvicha was very much surprised to see adults chasing a ball over a field, yet he guessed what the game was about and decided to form his own team at any cost. Soon his "First Swallow" team became the winner of all competitions. But soon a British ship had docked at the city's port and the "Swallow" suffered its first serious defeat from the Englishmen.... DVD 1975
FOURTH WISH DRUSWISH01A 160 min. Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Olga Perunovskaya. The main heroine, an upcoming TV- and theater-star, is invited abroad to meet the New Year with her fiancé. But she was late for her flight and had to make it there herself. Because of bad weather conditions, the airplane lands in one city in Western Siberia. During the transfer to a different airport Nastya ends up in Grandfather Frost’s cottage, where her adventure starts to unfold. Acquaintance with an enchanter, an overestimation of vital assumptions, a performance of the fourth wish--all of this awaits not only the heroine, but also the film’s viewers. This film is a beautiful New Year’s story about love and human kindness; about the fact that in this world, miracles still do happen--you just need to believe! DVD 2003
FRANZ + POLINA FRA1 Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Mikhail Segal. The film unfolds in a leisurely fashion that belies the urgency of wartime. Polina (Svetlana Ivanova) is a rusalka , an improbably beautiful river sprite who enjoys flirting with the innocent young German soldier Franz (Adrian Topol), a teenager who has joined the SS only because his mother has assured him that he must not shirk his duty to the fatherland. Although most of the village men, including Polina's father and brother, have fled to the forest partisans, this local beauty sees no particular problem with her autumnal romance. Polina's stolid mother is concerned, but only because Franz's interest in Polina has attracted the unfavorable attention of Franz's sergeant, who is bivouacked in their home. Mama seems not to worry that her daughter might be labelled a collaborator. The first half hour of the film is idyllic: beautiful scenery, bountiful food, kindly occupiers. Polina's cottage is spacious, clean, and attractive, appointed with nice embroidered linens and family heirlooms (including the antique clock the German sergeant repairs), and a well-groomed, friendly dog that the sergeant befriends. The villagers who have hidden in the forest begin trekking back. The pleasant mood changes suddenly. German reinforcements arrive, and the village is torched, its inhabitants massacred, all off screen. The avuncular sergeant orders Franz to shoot Polina and her mother. DVD 2006
GAGARIN: FIRST IN SPACE GAG 108 min., Russian without English subtitles. Directed by Pavel Parkhomenko. This film is dedicated to humanity’s first steps in opening the cosmos, and focuses on the fate of the first cosmonaut—Yuri A. Gagarin. The overarching theme is the fight to be the first: competition in the top squad of cosmonauts, competition in technology and rocket-building, and the rivalry between two superpowers—the USA and the USSR. The top cosmonaut squad was selected from a pool of three thousand fighter-pilots from all over the country. The ones selected, the legendary twenty, were the best of the best. Who among them would be the first in space? No one knew. The first man in space would have to fight more than gravity… DVD 2013
GARPASTUM GAR 118 min., Russian without English subtitles. Directed by Aleksei German. St. Petersburg, 1914. On the eve of the First World War, this historical film tells the story of the brothers Andrei and Nikolai who are passionate about football. Their father invested all of his money in the Russian national football team that participated in the Stockholm Olympics of 1912. That team lost to the Germans 0:16. With their friends Shoust and Fatso, the brothers hatch a scheme to buy a playing field. In order to finance it, they start playing for money against workers, seminarians, and anyone else they encounter. However, World War I and the October Revolution will intervene. Yet, after the war in 1918 the brothers reconvene and begin to play again on the very same field… DVD-PAL 2005
GENERATION PGENP 130 min. Russian without subtitles. Directed by Victor Ginzburg. Generation P is the first feature-length screen adaptation of the eponymous novel by the Russian author Victor Pelevin. The film follows Vavilen Tatarsky as he struggles to work and adapt to life in Moscow in the newly independent Russia. Vavilen is a very skilled writer of advertisements, and so he begins working in an agency which promotes Western brands, adapting their advertising campaigns to the "Russian mentality."DVD2011
THE GEOGRAPHER DRANK HIS GLOBE AWAYDRUSGDGA01A 120 min. Russian, English, with Russian Subtitles. Directed by Aleksandr Beledinskiy. A biologist named Victor Sluzhkin loses his job and, to make ends meet, is forced to take a job in a local school as a geography teacher. His life is difficult. The family has little money and lives in a dilapidated apartment in an old Soviet era building. His best friend is having an affair with his wife. The students in his class do not respect him and the assistant principal does not like his teaching methods. He feels lonely and depressed. To deal with the stresses of life, he drinks a lot. His alcohol-fueled binges provide a temporary respite, but no lasting comfort. When he organizes a trip on the river with a group of students from his class, it turns into a soul-searching journey of self-discovery both for him and for the young men and women from his class.DVD2013
GirlModelGIRL1 78 min. Directors, David Redmon & Ashley Sabin. Girl Model is the haunting documentary that follows 13-year-old model, Nadya Vall, and jaded modeling veteran and scout Ashley Arbaugh. In taking a look at the working conditions of children and the insatiable demand for girls as young as 11 or 12, filmmakers David Redmon and Ashley Sabin distilled a true vulgarity to a business that truly makes no apologies. DVD-PAL2011
GlossGLO *118 min. Russian only. Director Andrei Konchalovskii. Based on a screenplay that Konchalovskii co-wrote with Dunia Smirnova, Gloss tells the story of a seamstress named Galia. Chernukha-infused imagery permeates most of the mise-en-scènes that define Galia's Rostov-on-the-Don surroundings: a deliriously alcoholic father, a violently abusive mother, a gangster boyfriend. Amidst this melancholy and chaotic environment, the illusory world of glossy magazines and television commercials presents itself as the female protagonist's only avenue of entry into the “sweet life” of beauty and prosperity. DVD2007
GOP-STOP GOP 97 min. Russian and English with Russian subtitles. Directed by Pavel Bardin. A musical/ gangster comedy with elements of the absurd, inspired by classical popular tales and stories. The small-time criminal Vasya from a provincial town, by chance, becomes a Robin Hood figure in his community, fighting the corrupt and unfair local officials. DVD2011
THE GOLOVLYOV FAMILY GOLO *96 min. Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Alexandra Erofeeva. A film adaptation of Saltykov-Shedrin’s novel The Golovlyov Family. The film is an artistic portrayal of the way of life and psychology of Russian landowner class before and after the abolition of serfdom in 1861.DVD2010
THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT GREE 93 min., Russian with English subtitles. There were two lonely, lost teenagers. Rita, a small-town girl, is alone in an unfamiliar, busy city. She was stolen from her baggage at the railway station. She has no papers, no money, she doesn’t know the address of her new friend, whom she met with for only a short moment. Rita is saved by a homeless boy nicknamed Mute, whom the indifferent society ignores as well. Only together they can make thaw the ice in each other’s soul DVD 2005
GUEST FROM THE FUTURE GUE 158 min. Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Nikita Mikhalkov. Based on Kir Bulychyov’s novel “One Hundred Years Ahead” (1977). Alice Seleznyova, a girl from the future, finds herself in our time (1984). Following her, the space pirates Krys and Joker Y get here, too, with most nasty pirate’s intentions. Coming to her help is an ordinary boy, Kolya, as well as his friends from his 6th grade. DVD 2011
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LOLA! HAP 81 min., Russian with English Subtitles. Directed by Vladimir Shchegolkov. Lola is getting ready for her birthday and lets two strangers with flowers and a cake into her apartment. The "guests", however, are killers, using Lola's apartment as a shooting place to assassinate the president whose motorcade is to proceed by Lola's house. Lola becomes a hostage and the main obstacle to the assassination plan. DVD 2001
HAPPY NEW YEAR, DADDY! HAP2 Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Olga Perounovskaya. On the New Year Eve a young actor Dmitry is making some extra buck working as a Santa Claus. He entertains the kids, brings them gifts and enjoys a hefty profit on that. But everything turns upside down when an eight-year-old Lesha addresses him at one of the parties asking him to bring him a new Dad as a New Year present. The search for Lyosha's Dad doesn't his best to find his Dad, his mother chases her kid and Dima vainly tries to get rid of them both. Unbelievable odds, amazing encounters and romantic coincidences make the fake Santa Claus fulfill some very real wishes during the New Year's Eve. DVD 2004
HARVEST TIME HRV 67 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Marina Razbezhkina. Working at a collective farm as a tractor operator in the days after WWII, Antonina suddenly finds herself having to support her young son and husband after the latter returns from the front without his legs. In honor of Antonina’s hard work, she is awarded the prestigious Red Flag and named the best tractor operator in the region. As the first woman to ever receive such a title, Antonina becomes the source of great pride for her family and community. But when a mouse infestation threatens to destroy the Flag, the prize turns into a liability. Antonina becomes intensely invested in keeping it safe and at her home. DVD 2004
HIPSTERS HIP 120 min., Russian without English subtitles. Once upon a time in the Eastern bloc, there were two cultures: the hip and the square. In 1955 Moscow, as imagined by movie musical “Hipsters,” the cool minority could be found in smoke-filled underground lairs where flashily attired hepcats jumped and jived to the subversive honk of the jazz saxophone DVD 2008
HIS WIFE'S DIARY
Дневник Его Жены
HIS Russian without English subtitles. Directed by Aleksej Uchitel’. A tragic story of love and loneliness - this is the unknown life of the great Russian writer Ivan Bunin. The confused love story that involved Bunin, his wife Vera, the young poet Galina Plotnikova, opera singer Marga Kovtun and literary man Leonid Gurov. A work of great honesty and piercing psychology. VHS 2000
HOUSE BUILT ON SAND HOU 75 min., Russian with English Subtitles. Directed by Niyole Adomenaite. This slice of life among the Russian intelligentsia on the eve of World War II is an elliptical, languorous mood piece. A bored group of friends plays a practical joke on their clique's outcast, sending her a letter from a supposed admirer hopelessly in love with her. Adomenaite paints a Chekhovian portrait of people trapped together, unable to escape their self-imposed cycle of dependency. Closely-observed characterizations distinguish this evocative entertainment. VHS 1991
HOUSE OF FOOLS HOUS 108 min. Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Andrei Konchalovsky. The inmates are running the asylum…literally. As a war led by local rebels surrounds their tranquil haven, the patients of a small psychiatric hospital remain blissfully cut off from the raging conflict – safely confined in their own small, restricted world. But problems ensue as the medical staff abandons the hospital, leaving the residents to fend for themselves. Janna, a beautiful young patient, takes it upon herself to organize the helpless group as best she can – entertaining them with her accordion and dreaming of the day when her imaginary fiancé, pop musician Bryan Adams, will arrive to whisk her off to a better life. DVD2003
HOW I ENDED THIS SUMMER HIES *130 min. Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Alexei Pogrebensky. On a desolate island in the Arctic Circle, two men work at a small meteorological station, taking readings from their radioactive surroundings. Sergei, a gruff professional in his fifties, takes his job very seriously.   His partner, bright eyed college grad Pavel, retreats to his MP3 player and video games to avoid Sergei’s imposing presence. One day while Sergei is out, inexperienced Pavel receives terrible news for Sergei from HQ. Intimidated, Pavel can’t bring himself to disclose the information. When the truth is finally revealed, the consequences explode against a chilling backdrop of thick fog, sharp rocks, and the merciless Arctic Sea.DVD 2010
ILYA MUROMETSILY 94 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Alexander Ptushko. The film is based on Russian epic tales about the famous hero, embodying the best character traits of the Russian people. A favorite character of Russian folklore, Il'ya Muromets is a heroic warrior who successfully protects the Russian land. He saves Russia from evil enemies, defeating their thousands-strong army, and various monsters, such as Nightingale the Robber and Gorynych the Serpent. The first Soviet wide-screen motion picture, a record number of more than 106,000 soldiers and 11,000 horses participated in the filming. DVD1958
IT DOESN’T HURT ME HURT 101 min. Russian without subtitles. Directed by Alexey Balabanov. Tata is a beautiful young woman. She is bored, has nothing to do, but everything changes when she meets Misha, a young designer. He appears at her door together with his friends Alya and Oleg. They are young, full of strength and energy. They have talent, skill and a thirst for life... In short, they have everything... except money. But that's what they came for. They came to offer their design and repair services to her. Misha helps Tata to love her life anew, and she finds Misha and his friends interesting work. Rich clients, expensive dinners, and huge fees - more than the friends could even dream of... But most importantly - she loves him! And all the while Tata is hiding something very important, something that will inevitably affect their future. DVD2006
IDEAL MARRIAGE IDE 8 episodes, Russian with no English subtitles. Natalya Feoktistova, a thirty-six year old woman, can be proud of herself. She has a successful career and is a beautiful woman. The only thing she is lacking is a family. Natasha wants a child, but her fiancé has ran away right before their wedding. Compilation of 8 episodes, 2 DVDs 2013
THE IDIOT IDIO 159 min., Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Akira Kurosawa. The Idiot is Akira Kurosawa's adaptation of the Russian novel of the same name by F. Dostoevsky. In transferring the novel to film for a Japanese audience, Kurosawa set the story on the snow covered island of Hokkaido, in northern Japan. Kameda (Masayuki Mori) was a soldier sentenced to death, completely resigned to his fate in front of a firing squad. The unthinkable happened however; while waiting to be executed he was granted a pardon literally at the last minute. Understandably, the trauma of the experience disturbed him a bit, in fact it made him mentally withdrawn and slow. It is also said that the disturbing event negated his ability to lie. After some time in an asylum, he begins his return home and crosses paths with Akama (Toshiro Mifune), a street-wise brute who is curious about Kameda's mental state. Together they become embroiled with two women; Ayoko, an innocent and pretty girl with a sharp tongue, and Taeko (Setsuko Hara), an attractive ex-concubine who is now on the market, so to speak. Most of Kameda's acquaintances see his simple demeanor as endearing, however such a chap is open to exploitation, which leads to many amusing social situations. DVD-Pal 1951
THE IDIOT IDO1-4 500 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Vladimir Bortko. Count Myshkin comes back to Russia from Switzerland where he was under care in psychiatric hospital. He meets Parfen Rogozhin on a train on his way to St.Petersburg. Rogozhin tells Myshkin about his passionate love for Nastasia Filippovna who used to be a kept-woman of millionaire Totsky. When the count gets to Petersburg, he comes to the house of his distant relative Epanchina who is a wife of a general. Myshkin meets Epanchina’s husband, their daughters, and general’s secretary Ganya Ivolgin. Nastasia Filippovna’s portrait that was accidentally spotted by the count on the general’s table creates a big impression on Myshkin. DVD 2003
Ikiru IKI 143 min., Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Akira Kurosawa. Ikiru presents the director at his most compassionate—affirming life through an exploration of a man’s death. Kanji Watanabe is an aging bureaucrat with stomach cancer forced to strip the veneer off his existence and find meaning in his final days. Told in two parts, Ikiru offers Watanabe’s quest in the present, and then through a series of flashbacks. The result is a multifaceted look at a life through a prism of perspectives, resulting in a full portrait of a man who lacked understanding from others in life. DVD 1952
IN CONSTELLATION OF TAURUS V Sozvezdii Byka) INC 97 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Petr Todorovskiy. February 1942. The Stalingrad battle is at its height. At 100 kilometers to the north in a tiny go into the steppe. All the day long they drag themselves along the steppe till snowstorm begins. The young fellows herd the cattle into a pit and bury themselves in the snow. And it turns out that they have entrenched near a haystack left over from the autumn. But joy of such a godsend was darkened by encountering a German. Either a deserter or a soldier detached from his unit he was hiding on the other side of the same haystack. Catching sight of two fellows the German shoots from sudden surprise and wounds Igor. Having forgotten previous enmity Vanya does all his best for his 'rival' rescuing. But there is one more character in the film may be not less important than these young heroes. It is the battle itself present in soundtrack of the film. The film ends on scenes of the victory of Stalingrad which was the crucial phase of the Second World War. The village women are running to the bulls getting stuck in the snow. Young fellows are saved… DVD 2003
INTERPRETER OF OLIGARCH: GAME OF WORRDS INTE 105 mins., Russian without English subtitles. Directed by Elena Hazanova. When one has been living for a long time in Geneva, it is impossible to imagine life in Moscow. There is peace, clocks and chocolate in Geneva; there’s endless traffic and danger in Moscow. Ira almost doesn’t remember the city which she left when still a small girl. She is dreaming of coming back to Moscow, of finding her father, of breathing a different air. An old acquaintance recommends Ira to work as an interpreter for Ivan Tashkov. All local papers portray Tashkov as a powerful criminal, but Ira is fearless when she decides to visit him in his prison cell. Little does she know that her journey home has just begun. DVD 2007
THE VANISHED EMPIRE ISC 105 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Karen Shakhnazarov. The action of the film takes place in 1970’s Moscow. At the center of the plot is the classic love triangle: two guys and a girl. They all study at the same institute, argue together, forgive each other, experience their first disappointments together, as well as score their first victories together. All the while who could predict that very soon the country in which they were born and live in would disappear from all maps of the world. DVD-PAL 2008
IRONY OF FATE, OR "ENJOY YOUR BATH" 2 IROPT2 115 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Timur Bekmambetov. Follows the original Irony of Fate. DVD 2007
THE ITALIAN ITL, ITL1 99 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Andrei Kravchuk. For most Russian orphans, the chance to be adopted is a dream come true. But six-year old Vanya Solntsev has other hopes. After discovering his mother is still alive, the abandoned boy teaches himself to read so as to learn her address from his personal files. Before a wealthy Italian couple can claim him for their own, Vanya sets off on a perilous journey to find his only remaining family. Pursued by orphanage staff and the police, the determined runaway must now face the most difficult challenges of his young life in this incredible story inspired by true events. DVD 2005
KAMENSKAYA (ALL 5 SEASONS) KAM 2000 min., Russian, no subtitles. Directed by Yuri Moroz and others. After transferring to the Moscow Criminal Investigation Department (MUR), major Anastasiya Kamenskaya immediately takes on the most complex criminal cases that demand not only a brilliant mind and courage, but also the gift of foresight and the ability to penetrate the consciousness of sophisticated swindlers and inhuman criminals. Each investigation is not only a fascinating detective story, but also a vivid portrait of our contemporary life, where distinguishing good from evil is sometimes not such a simple matter. These are suspenseful and uncompromising stories about the choices of analyst Anastasiya Kamenskaya - a person at the crossroads of righteousness and crime - as she fights against injustice. DVD-PAL 1999-2009
KAMENSKAYA (KAM6) 500 min. Russian without subtitles. Directed by Marat Kim. After transferring to the Moscow Criminal Investigation Department (MUR), Major Anastasiya Kamenskaya immediately takes on the most complex criminal cases that demand not only a brilliant mind and courage, but also the gift of foresight and the ability to penetrate the consciousness of sophisticated swindlers and inhuman criminals. Each investigation is not only a fascinating detective story, but also a vivid portrait of our contemporary life, where distinguishing good from evil is sometimes not such a simple matter. These are suspenseful and uncompromising stories about the choices of analyst Anastasiya Kamenskaya - a person at the crossroads of righteousness and crime - as she fights against injustice. DVD-PAL2011
A KITTEN NAMED "WOOF"KOT*114 min. A collection of Soviet cartoons about the adventures of the kitten named Gav as well as other famous kitten characters in Russian animation. “Koteonok po imeni Gav” is a famous Soviet animation series created by Lev Altman and based on short stories of the well-known children’s writer Grigory Oster. The cartoon shows the adventures of a kitten curiously named Gav and his friend – a puppy called Sharik. The collection also includes other classic cartoons about kittens such as “Zhadnii Kuzya” [“Greedy Kuzya”], “Neposlushnii kotenok” [“Naughty Kitten”], “Vot tak tigr!” [“What a tiger!”] and many others.DVD-PAL2008
КОШЕЧКА (PUSSYCAT)KOS1*95 min. Russian, without English subtitles. Directed by Grigorii Konstantinopol’skii. A sequence of four independent stories with their independent characters, forming a coherent narrative. The film is akin to a theatrical performance with a final bow taken by all the characters. Long-forgotten «un-splintered» monologues allow the actors to demonstrate their skills and talents. None of these are hindered by special effects and editing. The film attempts to drive its audience into frenzy. It is both a protest that is vital in an era of total chaos, and a vivid cry from the heart which paradoxically gives us hope that this is not the end, but on the contrary, a crack in the system and liberation from stereotypes and chains.DVD2009
LADY-PEASANTLAD2106 min., Russian with no English subtitles. Directed by Alexei Sakharov. Liza had her eye on her handsome young neighbor Alexei, for some time and he has had his eye on her. But their fathers, feuding landowners, clearly aren't about to let the two young people get together. Liza has an idea. With the help of a maidservant, Nastia, she dresses up as a young peasant girl and wanders into the forest ostensibly to gather mushrooms. As she planned, Alexei spots her and the peasant disguise doesn't fool him a bit.DVD1995
THE LAST STATIONLAS2113 min. English. The Last Station, staring Academy Award winner Helen Mirren and Christopher Plummer, offers a compelling look at the final days of the literary icon Leo Tolstoy. Having renounced his title and property, Tolstoy makes plans to donate his royalties to the Russian people, supported by his trusted disciple Chertkov (Paul Giamatti). Tolstoy’s outraged wife wages a one-woman war to challenge her husband’s outrageous act of idealism.DVD2009
LEGEND NO. 17DRUSLEGE01A113 min. Russian, with Russian subtitles. Directed by Nikolai Lebedev. The USSR hockey team with a record 7:3 beat the canadian professional team from the NHL in a match in the USSR-Canada Superseries. It wasn't an easy game--it was a battle for their country that would change the world's perception of hockey. Now the entire world knew the player simply by his number--17. Valerii Kharlamov, having scored two goals in that match, shot into the limelight. He had achieved his dream--perserverance, talent, and hard lessons from his great trainer, Anatolii Tarasov, made his number 17 a legend in the world of hockey.DVD2013
LETTERS FROM KARELIA LET1 76 min., English. Directed by Kelly Saxberg. Taimi Pitkanen last saw her brother Aate in a Leningrad railway station 1931. Taimi was returning to Canada from Moscow; Aate was headed for Soviet Karelia, on the border with Finland, where his skills in electricity and languages -both English and Finnish - were badly needed. Aate never came back. Even when the dream went sour, Aate held on, writing home until, in 1941, Hitler attacked the USSR, after that, no one in Canada heard anything more of Aate Pitkanen. Sixty years later, the discover of his last letters - written but never mailed from a Finnish prisoner-of-war camp - reveals his fate and brings together Taimi and Alfred, the son Aate never met. Visiting Taimi in Canada, Alfred Pitkanen learns the dramatic story of his father's Canadian family and of "Karelia Fever," the enthusiasm that gripped so many Finnish Canadians in the 1930s. Almost forgotten now, it lured thousands to a tragic fate in the Soviet Union. Alfred follows his father's journey from Thunder Bay, Ontario, to Karelia, from young communist pioneer to ski champion of the USSR to Soviet spy. With him we learn Aate's fate and the story of one of the great dreams of the twentieth century. VHS 2004
LILJA 4-EVER LIL 105 mins., Mostly Russian (also, some text is in German, Polish, Swedish), Directed by Lukas Modysson. In the former Soviet Union, sixteen year old Lilja is very happy, because her mother is moving to the USA with her boyfriend. However, Lilja is left alone, without money or family in a very poor apartment. She spends her time with her only friend, the rejected boy Volodya. Lilja begins to prostitute in a nightclub to survive, and she meets a young man, Andrei, who seduces her and invites Lilja to move with him to Sweden with a promise of a job and lodging. When she arrives in Sweden, reality is not exactly as she dreamed of it. DVD-PAL2002
The Lower DepthsLOW 2 disks, 125 mins./95 mins. Japanese with English subtitles/French with English subtitles. Directed by Akira Kurosawa and Jean Renoir (seperately). Jean Renoir and Akira Kurosawa, two of cinema’s greatest directors, transform Maxim Gorky’s classic proletariat play The Lower Depths in their own ways for their own times. Renoir, working amidst the rise of Hitler and the Popular Front in France, had need to take license with the dark nature of Gorky’s source material, softening its bleak outlook. Kurosawa remained faithful to the original with its focus on the conflict between illusion and reality. DVD1957/1936
LUNA PAPA LUN 105 min. Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Bakhtiar Khudojnazarov. In a small village, seventeen-year old Mamlakat dreams of becoming an actress. One night she is seduced by a mysterious stranger who claims to be a friend of Tom Cruise. He then disappears, leaving Mamlakat pregnant. Her father Safar and brother Nasreddin set out to find the culprit and restore the family honor. From inside the womb, Khabibulla, who was conceived on that miraculous night, provides a commentary on the incredible adventures and bizarre mishaps that befall the protagonists. A fantastic trip through the wild landscape of Central Asia in which tradition and superstition clash with the chaos of the post-modern world. DVD1999
MAGNETIC STORMS
(Магнитные Бури)
MAG1 93 mins., Russian w/ English subtitles. Directed by Vadim Abdrashitov. Magnetic Storms operates on the polarization of and disjuncture between the individual and the collective, on the one hand, and wakefulness and unconsciousness, on the other. The main character, Valera, is driven by an impulsive and inexplicable sense of responsibility to participate in acts of mass violence with his coworkers from the factory. He consistently forfeits his private obligations to his wife and domestic stability in exchange for membership in the worker collective. The value and purpose of Valera's collective is ambiguous, however. Workers converge to battle in support of either Markin or Savchuk, the two men vying for private ownership of the factory, but the workers' actions can by no reasoning have an impact on the outcome of the sale of shares. The implicit comment is that the politics of the factory determine the workers' behavior, rendering the workers immediately useless as a collective power. DVD 2003
MALYSH, CARLSON, AND OTHERSMAL80 min. A collection of cartoons including the popular Soviet animated series “Malysh i Carlson” [“Malysh and Carlson”], based on a collection of short stories by Astrid Lindgren, as well as such famous cartoons as “Opyat’ dvoika” [“Failed again”], and “Petya i Krasnaya Shapochka” [“Peter and the Little Red Riding Hood”]. A boy named Malysh suffers from solitude as the youngest of the three children in a Swedish family. Acute loneliness makes him desperately want a dog, but before he gets one, he "invents" a friend - the mischievous flying Carlson who lives on the roof.DVD-PAL2007
MARS MARS 96 min., Russian with English subtitles. Set in a small Russian city of Mars, the film tells the story of a professional boxer who has run away from his life to a small Russian town on the coast of the Black Sea. The story contains elements of surrealism and magical realism. The town's main industry is the manufacture of plush toys, which function as a local currency. The boxer is color blind; his color blindness is portrayed, for example, by a profusion of blue apples. The city of Mars was formerly called Marks: Марс as opposed to Маркс, the name change being effected by removing one letter from the roof of the railway station. DVD 2004
MASTER AND MARGARITA MAST 450 min., Russian with English Subtitles. Directed by Vladimir Bortko. Set in Moscow under Stalin and in Jerusalem under Pilate, it has several story-lines where history, religion, and politics are intertwined. The sacrifices of Master (Galibin), a talented author of a manuscript about the biblical Pontius Pilate, and Master's muse - Margarita (Kovalchuk), are paralleled by the biblical story of Ieshua in Jerusalem, and the deceit of the cowardly ambiguous Pilate (Lavrov), whose character alludes to a Soviet leader. The reality is distorted by Satan Woland (Basilashvili), and his lieutenants, who are manipulating public events and people's lives by pushing the buttons of human weaknesses and sins. Margarita taps into Woland's power, trying to save Master. The character of Master is autobiographical, burning of his manuscript alludes to what Mikhail Bulgakov himself did under threats from the Soviet authorities. DVD 2005
MASTER AND MARGARITAMAS4*113 min. Russian without subtitles. Directed by Yuri Kara. Master and Margarita is based on the eponymous book by Mikhail A. Bulgakov. The film is set in the 1930s Moscow under Stalin and in Jerusalem under Pilate, and has several story-lines that are intertwined. Master (Rakov) is a talented writer in Moscow working on a manuscript about Jesus (Burlyayev) and Pontius Pilate (Ulyanov). Authorities in Moscow are harassing Master, subjecting him to constant surveillance and intimidation. Victimized and traumatized by continuous harassment, Master throws his manuscript into the fire, before he is locked up in a mental clinic. DVD1994
MAYAKOVSKII, TWO DAYSMAYA5 seasons. Russian without subtitles. Directed by Dmitri Tomashpolskii. This serial tells the story of the last two days in the life of Vladimir Mayakovskii. In the spring of 1930 Mayakovskii was in a state of deep despair. Mayakovskii had fallen from favor with the government, and his isolation turned to intense loneliness when his love and muse Liulia Brik left with her husband for Berlin. On April 14th, the poet committed suicide.DVD2013
THE MERMAID (Rusalka) MERM 100min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Anna Melikyan. This beautiful picture represents the loveliest trend of the modern Russian cinema - a definite piece of art and a work of an Author, a story that truthfully and painfully reflects city life from the confused point of view of an outsider, dreamer, youngster. "Rusalka" is often compared to "Progulka" (2003) and "Piter FM" (2006). However, watching "Rusalka" aches more than two before-mentioned pictures, for it doesn't lie for the sake of good mood. "Rusalka" is sometimes also called "Amélie Poulain in Moscow" because of the expressive and charming character of the heroine who believes that life is a beautiful and never-ending mystery; however, "Rusalka" goes further than "Amélie," openly showing that City is not only a place of romance and unexpected adventures, but in fact a get-together of lonely people who find each other to remain alone. DVD 2007
MINNESOTA MIN 86 min., Russian. Directed by Andrei Proshkin. The story of two brothers, provincial hockey players. One is offered a contract to play in America, but refused to go with his brother. This psychology drama tells the story of two talented people that are struggling through their difficult provincial life. DVD-PAL 2009
MOIDODYRMOID*59 min. A collection of Soviet cartoons based on the works by Korney Chukovsky, including “Moidodyr,” “Fedorino gore” [“Fedora’s Misfortune”], “Ot dvukh do pyati” [“From Two to Five”], and “Vanya i Krokodil” [“Vanya and the Crocodile”]. The story Moidodyr is narrated by a boy, whose sheets, clothes and food suddenly start running away from him, after which a talking and walking sink Moidodyr scolds the boy for his poor hygiene and orders him to get cleaned up.DVD-PAL2008
MOLOCH MOLO 122 mins, Russian (no English subtitles)Director: Aleksandr Sokurov. Moloch is a 1999 Russian biographical drama film. The storyline was conceived from a screenplay written by Yuri Arabov and Marina Koreneva. It portrays Adolf Hitler as a humanized figure, living life in an unassuming manner during an abrupt journey to the Bavarian Alps. The film stars actors Leonid Mozgovoy, Yelena Rufanova, Vladimir Bogdanov, and Leonid Sokol in principal roles. Moloch explores companionship, intimacy and dictatorship. A joint collective effort to commit to the film's production was made by a number of studios including; Arte, Fabrica, Fusion Product, Goskino and Lenfilm Studio. It was commercially distributed by Koch Lorber Films. Following its release, the film was entered into the 1999 Cannes Film Festival and won other awards selections, including those from the Russian Guild of Film Critics Awards. The film was generally met with mixed critical reviews before its initial screening in 1999. DVD1999
MOSCOW PARADE MOS1 103 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Ivan Dychovichny. This is the first post-Soviet film about the Stalin era. German actress Uta Lemper stars as a woman married to the chief of the secret police, the man responsible for killing her family. Though she hates the secret police and the forces that destroyed her previous life, she takes advantage of all the luxuries available only to the Soviet elite. VHS 1993
MOSCOW SAGA DRUSSAGA01A 640 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Dmitrii Barshchevskii. Moscow, 1925. Professor Gradov, his wife Meri, their children--Nina, Nikita, and Kirill--and old friends of the family, relatives from Moscow and Tiflis, and everyone else who figures into the story--all are young and full of hope. For many, these dreams seem within reach, but none will emerge from the times (1930s-1950s USSR) unscathed... Based on the books by Vasilii Aksenov. DVD 2004
MOTHER AND SON MTR, MTR1 73 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Aleksandr Sokurov. In a stone cottage in the countryside, a son takes care of his dying mother. Aleksandr Sokurov takes this simple scenario and creates pure cinematic poetry. This is the kind of contemplative, hypnotic beauty that is rarely achieved in film, and then only by true masters. While very little happens in terms of plot, the film offers more truths -- about life, death and devotion -- than the most complex narrative could ever provide. DVD 1997
MY FAIR NANNY MOY1, MOY2, MOY3, MOY4, MOY6 Var., television series. Russian without English subtitles. Directed by Andrey Kuznetsov. The plot develops around Viktoria Prutkovskaya, an energetic and extravagant Ukrainian, who is dismissed by her boyfriend Anton. Now working as a cosmetics saleswoman, Viktoria finds herself in a house with Maksim Shatalin, a famous producer, widower, and father of three. Shatalin is going to throw a party for potential investors, and he desperately needs a nanny to look after his children. In desperation, he hires Viktoria, although regrets about his choice. DVDs (5) 2004
MY STEP BROTHER IS FRANKENSTEIN
(Мой Сводный Брат Франкенштейн)
MYS Russian, without English subtitles. Directed by Valeriy Todorovskiy. A family is confronted with an unexpected and troubling new arrival in this emotional drama from Russia. Yulik Krymov (Leonid Yarmolnik) is a scientist and author who shares his home with his wife Rita (Yelena Yakovleva) and their two children, Anya (Marianna Ilyina) and Igor (Artyom Shalimov). Their domestic calm is shattered one day when Yulik discovers he has a third child he never knew about -- Pavel (Daniil Spivakovsky), the product of a long-forgotten one-night stand 20 years ago. Pavel has recently arrived home after suffering severe injuries as a Russian soldier fighting in Chechnya; his mother can no longer care for him, and has decided it is Yulik's turn to mind his son. Physically scarred and emotionally ravaged, Pavel is hardly a comforting presence, and Igor makes no secret of his fear and distrust of the new arrival, but his younger sister, Anya, has a kinder heart and befriends the shattered soul. To Rita, however, Pavel is a reminder of Yulik's decades-old infidelity, and his presence drives a wedge between her and her husband. Meanwhile, Pavel's need for expensive surgery, his powerful delusions that Chechnyan soldiers are hiding in the attic, and his insistence that his best friend will be coming to visit soon add up to far more than the family is able to deal with. DVD 2004
INADEQUATE PEOPLE (НЕАДЫКВАТНЫЕ ЛЮДИ)  NEA 102 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Roman Karimov. “Inadequate People” is a romantic comedy with a darker undercurrent. The film’s male protagonist, Vitalii (Il’ia Liubimov), suffers from jealousy and is unable to control his violent outbreaks. He realizes the inadequacy of his life when his girlfriend dies in a car accident as he falls asleep while driving. Vitalii then moves to Moscow to start a new life. He is guided in this endeavor by the psychoanalyst, Dr Kozlov (Evgenii Tsyganov), whose therapy consists of giving Vitalii a key to a new apartment and his own book, Life from a Blank Page (Zhizn’ s chistogo lista), that should help Vitalii in the process of recovery. DVD 2011
NEIGHBOR DRUSNEIG01A 81 min. Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Sergei Iurzhenko. The hero of this tragicomedy, a policeman, is a little strange. He will never learn to live by the rules. He’s just a little odd… But far stranger than the policeman himself is the world around him. Fortunately, it turns out that our novice “village detective” is not alone in this wild world... DVD 2004
THE NEW YEAR ROMANCE NEWY 104 min. Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Georgy Yungvald-Khilkevich. On the Christmas Eve Sonya and Anya meet a Gipsy fortune teller while strolling along Arbat Street. The odd lady predicts that they would never forget this Christmas. At first, the girls didn’t take her words seriously. The subsequent events made them believe in the evil forecast of the Gypsy. What has destiny kept in store for the girls? Will the forecast come true? This is a touching Christmas love story loosely based on O’Henry’s short stories and accompanied by a magnificent musical score. DVD 2004
NEZNAIKANEZN* 174 min. An animated series based on fairy-tale trilogy by Nikolai Nosov, which follows the adventures of little fictional child-like people living in “Flower City.” The protagonist of the stories is the infamous Neznaika, a boy who is mischievous, lazy, and rude but also kind, enterprising and very lucky.DVD-NTSC2007
NIGHT WATCH NOC 155 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Timur Bekmametov. Everyone knows that it is dangerous on the streets at night. But on this occasion, the saying is not about criminals or maniacs. When night falls, and the power of evil rules completely, there exists that which is not encountered in the day - dark magicians, vampires, and other evil spirits. Their power is great and it is not possible to deal with them by typical weapons. But on the tracks of the "night hunters" comes one who for centuries fights by with twilight and vanquishes them, undeviatingly while observing this agreement, created a thousand years ago between Light and Dark . . . . Their name: Night Watch. DVD 2004
NOT BY BREAD ALONE NOTB 112 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Stanislav Govorukhin. In 1947, in a small industrial city that grew around a large steel-making plant, two people meet at a school where she works as an English teacher and he teaches physics to children. She is the wife of the plant’s director, General Drozdov, while he dreams of building a new type of pipe-casting machine that no one has invented yet. She is fascinated by his ideas and falls in love with him, leaving her husband. He wants to be useful to his country and is ready to devote his life to his ideas, while she is ready to give him her life, love, and faith. The General, meanwhile, endeavors to prevent his rival from advancing with his invention. DVD 2005
NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND NFU 88 min., English. Directed by Gary Walkow. "I am a sick man. .I am a spiteful man. I am an unattractive man. I believe my liver is diseased." With these terrifying words begin one of the masterpieces of world literature, now adopted for a groundbreaking cinematic experienced by Gary Walkow, with Henry Czerny giving petrifying life to the central character of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's "Notes from Underground." Miserable, arrogant, and self-destructive, the narrator of Dostoyevsky's pioneering psychological thriller in existential angst peels off one after another layer of an over-active imagination that like cancer is feeding on its own annihilation. This breathtaking cinematic adaptation of "Notes from Underground" gives it an uncanny visual space to breathe, multi-layered tunnels of time to exorcise its diabolic genius. DVD 1998
OF FREAKS AND MEN FRK 89 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Alexei Balabanov. From the director of Brother comes this subversive black comedy that suggests the coarseness of contemporary culture is merely the flowering of seeds planted in the Victorian age. A pornographer and his assistant maneuver their way into two well-to-do families in St. Petersburg. Dark, hidden passions are revealed as manipulation and corruption take hold. "Balabanov is clearly a genuine troublemaker...Even Lynch and Greenaway have rarely left an audience with such a bitterly ironic punchline" (Jonathan Romney, Sight and Sound). DVD 1998
OFFICE ROMANCE. OUR TIME.OFFI * 91 min. Russian without subtitles. Directed by Sarik Andreasyan. A remake of the classic comedy by Eldar Ryazanov. In the new film, the same characters fall into similar circumstances, but in our modern world. The film follows the relationship between Ludmila Kalugina, a successful businesswoman and the owner of a rating agency and Anatoly Novoseltsev, a financial analyst, keen biker and father of two. DVD-PAL 2010
ON UPPER MASLOVKA STREETONU 115 min. Russian (no English subtitles). Anna Borisovna (Alisa Freindlich) used to be a world-famous sculptor. Now, she is 90 years old, but is still as witty and sarcastic as any young person could be. Pyotr (Evgeniy Mironov) was educated as a theater critic, but is now working as a theater director at the local theater company. In the past, he promised to be a successful artist, but now he has been living for many years with Anna Borisovna. What kind of relationship could have formed between such different human beings? DVD 2005
THE ISLAND OST1, OST 110 min., OST1: Russian with English subtitles (OST without English subtitles), Directed by Pavel Lungin. He was given a second life, a different time, and a strange place. Miracle and salvation await him. But only a miracle may save him. DVD, DVD-PAL 2006
THE OUTSKIRTS OUT1 98 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Peter Lutsik. A group of men fight injustice as they try to discover who stole their land. Their hunt for the offenders takes them from the gentle countryside to the halls of power. In this extraordinary epic - a political thriller in the tradition of Z and Weekend - Peter Lutsik creates an astounding chronicle of a country in violent transformation. DVD 1998
THE ORDINARY AND EXTRAORDINARY ADVENTURES OF PETROV AND VASECHKIN PETR 150 min. Russian without subtitles. Directed by Vladimir Alenikov. A musical comedy about the adventures of two third-graders Vasya Petrov and Petya Vasechkin. DVD1984
THE VACATION OF PETROV AND VASECHKIN: ORDINARY AND EXTRAORDINARYADVENTURESPETR2 150 min. Russian without subtitles. Directed by Vladimir Alenikov. A continuation of the musical comedy about the adventures of two third-graders Vasya Petrov and Petya Vasechkin. During their summer vacation the two friends go to the pioneer camp, where they get to experience new and exciting adventures. DVD1984
OVERTIMEDRUSOVER01A 86 min. Russian, with Russian, English, French, German, Spanish, and Italian subtitles. Directed by Aleksandr Brunkovsky. A funny lyrical comedy from the director of several well-known documentaries (“Irina Skobtseva. The Life of Desdemon”, “Marshal Lelik Tabakov”) Aleksandr Brunkovsky in cooperation with star of the Russian filmmaker Oleg Tabakov (“Several Days in the Life of I. I. Oblomov”), Anatoliy Vasileva (“The Crew”), Raisa Riazanova (“Moscow Doesn’t Believe in Tears”), Vladimir Krasnov, the young Darya Moroz (“Fortune”, “Mid-Life Crisis”) and the reassuring music of Evgeny Krylatov. Some open, slightly naïve people: a former well-known footballer Deev, Ret. Col. Tarasov, former locksmith Sirotkin and his wife Sonya decide to challenge fate and do away with their life of poverty. These friends open a private car service at a Belarusian train station and immediately get themselves into a whirlwind of unbelievable, yet love-filled, adventures. DVD2005
PECULIARITIES OF THE NATIONAL HUNTHUNT93 min., A slapstick Russian comedy in which Raivo, a young Finnish researcher, journeys to rural Russia to observe the hunting customs there and gets more than he had bargained for, although nothing he had expected. (Adapted from Sandra Brennan at allmovie.com.)DVD1995
PITER FM PIT, PIT1 84 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Oksana Bychnova. Masha is a DJ on a popular Petersburg radio, Maksim is a young architect. Masha is preparing for her wedding to former classmate Kostya, Maksim won an international architects' competition and now is invited to work in Germany. But both are not sure that this is exactly what they need. Until now Masha did not know if she loved Kostya or was simply accustom to him. Maksim is afraid that working in Germany will impede his life dream to design a wonderful building in St. Petersburg. Who knows what changed their fate, if Masha had not lost her cell phone and Maksim had not found it… This is a lyrical history of two young people who find themselves at life's crossroads when everyone should decide what is truly important for him/herself. The pulsing organism of the megapolis, the bitter partings and new meetings, and finally, time itself, in which the heroes live, is intimately intertwined with every fate so as to bring them together. DVD 2006
PAPER SOLDIERPAP*118 min. Russian without subtitles. Directed by Alexey German Jr. The film is set in Soviet Russia and explores the personal drama of a young medical officer Daniel Pokrovsky, working with the first team of Soviet Cosmonauts. Daniel, already married, finds himself in an incredibly complicated and yet tender relationship with a young girl, called Vera. The young doctor is confronted with a number of moral dilemmas, which will deeply affect his personal life and career. DVD-PAL2008
PARADJANOV’S CODE PARA*156 min. Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Levon Grigorian. The DVD set includes five short films exploring Paradjanov’s life and work: Memories of Sayan-Nova (2005, 30 min), Eros and Tanatos(2005, 35 min), Orpheus Descends to Hell (2003, 28 min), I, Serghei Paradjanov (2001, 24 min), Andrey and Serghei (2002, 39 min).DVD2008
PASSIONS PASS 112 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Kira Muratova. A winner of Russia's Nika Awards for Best Film and Best Director, this drama follows the romances and heartbreaks experienced by two young women who become fascinated by the world of professional horse racing and attracted to the sportsmen involved with it DVD 1994
PECULIARITIES OF THE NATIONAL FISHING PEC 94 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Aleksandr Rogozhkin. A planned fishing trip goes hilariously awry when three best friends find themselves lost in Finland with no fishing equipment or vodka. This is clearly a disaster of the highest order and the traveling buddies reach their breaking point in this hit comedy, which was the third in a series featuring the same trio of characters. DVD 1998
PRISONER OF THE MOUNTAINS PRISD 99 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Sergei Bodrov. Based on Leo Tolstoy's classic tale of hope, courage, and humanity, this film follows the journey of two Russian POWs held captive in the Caucasus Mountains. DVD 1996
RAILROAD ROMANCEDRUSRAIL01A 104 min. Russian, no English subtitles. Directed by Ivan Solovov. Charming and warm-hearted Muscovite Aleksey meets the girl of his dreams and makes up an incredibly original method of explaining this to his love. But instead of a date, he ends up in a different situation in which makes him lose his job and apartment. In the long years that follow, he becomes an involuntary wonderer, running from his past and from law enforcement agencies, and ends up in a conflict from which he cannot escape. Comedic and, at the same time, risky adventures follow one after another. One wonderful day on New Year’s Eve, his long-lost love again reminds him of who he was and takes the hero on the most fantastic and risky adventure of his life. Indeed, she and love can either carry him to complete ruin, or get him out of the long ordeal to happiness together. DVD 2003
RASPUTINDRUSRASP01A 97 min. Russian, French (no subtitles). Directed by Irakli Kvirikadze. In the beginning of the 20th century, Europe erupted with war, and the Russian Empire was on the edge of oblivion. The unexpected discovery of the mysterious Grigorii Rasputin in the king’s presence brings a wave of indignation to the court. The Siberian healer eases the suffering of the incurably sick heir to the thrown, preaching and performing miracles. The Empress is certain that it is fate that Grigorii is a godly man, a savior, sent from above. Her certainty is not shared. Conspiracies are weaved around the “saintly demon,” his mystic power over the royal family and gentle friendship with the the Empress worries too many. Russia, the monarchy, and Rasputin are in the epicenter of the steadily-approaching catastrophes. DVD 2012
THE REAL FATHER FROSTREAL 90 min. Russian with Ukrainian subtitles. Directed by Vitalii Vorob’ev. On New Year’s Eve a seven year old boy goes searching for his father, who recently left his family to live with another woman. The young boy has to face various challenges and live through exciting adventures on his way to finding his Dad. DVD 2006
THE RETURN RET 106 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev. Elegant cinematography highlights Andrey Zvyagintsev's gripping psychological thriller that looks at two young brothers who are forced to deal with the return of their father who had abandoned them years prior. Upon his return, the father orders the boys to accompany him on a fishing trip, which tests the boys endurance and, eventually, their sanity. A powerful, perfectly realized film, The Return won the Golden Lion for Best Film at the Venice International Film Festival and the Discovery of the Year Award at the European Film Awards. "Brilliant...One of those unnerving films that lingers in the mind long after the lights come up" (Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly). DVD 2003
THE RIDER NAMED DEATH RND 106 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Karen Shakhnazarov. Vanya, Fyodor and Erna are part of Georges' secret band of turn-of-the-century revolutionaries. They repeatedly attempt to murder Grand Duke Aleksandrovich, but fail as each member of the group fight to stay alive while grappling with their own internal doubt and strife. But the personal vacuum that has driven Georges to an extremist fringe outside society may prove to be his most potent weapon. Mired in a romantic limbo between Erna and the beautiful married aristocrat, and torn between apathy and a desire to destroy, Georges must find both a way and a reason to finish the job he started. Based on Boris Savinkov's autobiographical novel, The Pale Horse. DVD 2004
RITA'S LAST FAIRY TALE (Последняя Сказка Риты) RIT 100 min., Russian w/out subtitles. Directed by Reneta Litvinova. Rita's Last Fairy Tale is a playful Russian fantasy which imbues its harrowing tale of life and death with an enchanting collage of imagery. A surreal and at times beguiling journey, Renata Litvinova's disjointed and far-fetched magical adventure also demands both an open mind and significant patience. The film opens with an elegant lady being driven to an undisclosed location. Her attire is fitting of a pantomime princess, draped in a graceful frock accompanied by an eccentric headdress. We soon discover that this mysterious woman is Tanya (Litvinova herself), a beautiful incarnation of the Grim Reaper. DVD 2012
ROAD TO LIFEROA1 100 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Nikolai Ekk. Orphaned youths collect into gangs following the turmoil caused by Russia's Revolutionary and Civil wars. Mustafa leads one band sent to be reformed in an experimental program. Despite a caring teacher, change is complicated by new trades and their inescapable criminal pasts. VHS1931
ROADS TO KOKTEBEL ROAD 105 min. Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Boris Khlebnikov. A father sets off from Moscow with his 11-year-old son for his sister’s house in Koktebel by the Black Sea. With no money or means of transport, they drift through the expansive and mesmeric landscapes at the mercy of chance. For the father, the journey is an attempt to restore self-respect, to piece together a broken life and win back the trust of his son. For the boy, the mythic coastal town holds the key to a new life and emancipation. DVD2003
RUSSKOE (It's Russia) RUS1 112 min. Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Aleksandr Veledinskiy. Khar’kov, 1959. Sixteen-year old Ed is reading his poetry next to the monument in the square, surrounded by the curious crowd. Meanwhile, his friend Sashka, who advocates that “art should be walking alongside crime” is searching pockets of the listeners … Ed is in love. With the most beautiful girl of Khar’kov, Svetka. It doesn’t appear that she is reciprocating. He is dreaming about fashionable restaurants and expensive clothes -- all of which he cannot afford. His parents give no response to his question to both of them: “Mother, remember you promised to give me 200 rubles for my holiday presents?” while Svetka is kissing his friend-thief Sashka. DVD 2004
RUSSIAN ARK ARK, ARK2 96 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Alexander Sokurov. Alexander Sokurov's cinematic tour-de-force follows a modern filmmaker who magically finds himself transported to the 18th century. There, he embarks on a time-traveling journey through 300 years of Russian history. Filmed with a cast of thousands, three live orchestras and an army of technicians, Russian Ark is the longest uninterrupted shot in film history and the first feature film ever created in a single take. DVD 2002
RUSSIA 88 RU 88 *104 min. Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Pavel Bardin. Russia 88 is a raw, emotional and controversial examination of skinhead culture. Russia 88 is a gang of Moscow skinheads, their slogan being “Russia for Russians.” The gang and their charismatic leader Blade spend their days drinking, smoking and indiscriminately attacking immigrants who, they believe, are taking “Russian” jobs and tainting the Russian bloodline. Blade’s family life is strained: his father wants him to make something out of his life and his sister treats his fascist beliefs with concealed amusement. One day he finds out that his sister is seeing a boy from the Caucasus and all hell breaks loose. DVD-Reg2 2009
RYURIKI RIUR *400 min. Russian without subtitles. Directed by Alexandr Bondarenko. A nine episode series that takes place in a small Ukrainian village, where a young teacher from the capital is sent to teach history at a local school. DVD-PAL 2011
SAMARA-GORODOK (The Sweet Town of Samara) SAM2 176 min. Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Pavel Snisarenko. The mini-series narrates a hilarious adventurous story of a hometown comeback of a young woman who set upon the path of making her way up in Moscow. She managed to make a successful career and forget her past life, bur her hometown past still looms large over her fortune and prospective marriage. The posh Varvara Yelesina still has a skeleton in her cupboard. It is lawful husband whom she left behind in the hometown that she came to hate. After coming back Varvara discovers that old problems mean for her much more than the comfort of the capital. DVD 2005
THE SCAM SCAM 87 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Andrei Davydov. Andrei Davydov, a successful businessman and former physicist, plots an unprecedented scam aimed at causing a downfall of the world's financial markets. He has no doubt that he will succeed, but it's a dangerous game. Especially when love interferes with his carefully thought-out scheme. DVD 2001
SCOUT DRUSSCOU01A 540 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Feliks Gerchikov. Arina Prozorovskaya is an idealist, committed member of the Komsomol, from an educated family. Zoya Velichko is a village girl, daughter of a persecuted kulak, driven by fate to a life of crime. Shortly before the war both land in a school for scouts, taught by the experienced Major Vorotynnikov. A charge of treason hangs over Arina’s head, and for her wartime service is a chance to redeem her reputation. Zoya is blamed for the murder of Arina’s mother. Although she did not commit the crime, there is no evidence to exonerate her. Zoya too seeks military service to avoid punishment. From the very beginning, the girls are enemies. But Vorotynnikov puts them to work on the same assignment, and their opposite characters begin to complement one another... DVD 2013
SIXTEEN-TWELVE1612 143 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Vladimir Khotinenko. After the brutal slaughter of Tsar Boris Godunov and his family, Russia descends into chaos. Guided by faith and mysticism, Andrey, the only witness to the massacre, transforms himself from servant to cavalier and sets off on a quest to save Princess Ksenia, Godunov’s missing daughter. Andrey joins forces with Prince Pozharski, the people’s army leader, and faces down the Polish army in an explosive, blood-soaked battle for Moscow. DVD2007
THE MUDFLOWSEL 94 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Iaropolk Bokarev. The hero of the film Akhmet, was tending to his flock when a merciless mudslide destroys his home, taking away all of loved ones. For the first time in his 30 years, Akhmet, then goes far from his home to Moscow, in search of his last remaining relative-a cousin. On the way he meets many different people. The train attendant takes him under her wing, teaching him about city life, about which Akhmet knows nothing. Losing his support system in life, Akhmet recharges people who are better off than him with his kindness and energetic love of life. DVD2003
BARBER OF SIBERIASIB1 177 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Nikita Mikhalkov. A foreign entrepreneur, played by Richard Harris, travels to Siberia with his assistant Jane, played by Julia Ormond. Jane falls in love with a young Russian officer, played by the Russian star Oleg Menshikov, who is banished to Siberia by Jane’s jealous admirer, the Grand Duke. Set in turn of the century Russia, the film is a story of love, betrayal and the capacity of the human spirit. DVD1999
ОВСЯНКИ (SILENT SOULS) SILS 75 min., Russian (no English subtitles). Directed by Aleksandr Fedorchenko (Igor Sergheyev), a paper mill engineer who never has married, is asked by his boss and friend Miron (Yuri Tsurilo) to accompany him on a delicate mission. Miron's beloved wife, Tanya (Yuliya Aug), has just died, and he wants to hold a private funeral in the traditional Merja style. Aist readily consents and, after helping him wash Tanya's huge body, they set off through the country in an SUV. Two caged birds, which will play an important role in shaping their destiny, accompany the men on their journey. They stop in a town to buy firewood, then, by the side of a melancholy sacred lake, the two men officiate at an archetypal ceremony. But their business is not finished. Aist, who narrates the yarn, says the Merjans are an expressionless people shaken by sudden passions. He describes some of their erotic folklore, including the habit of intertwining colored threads in the Merja bride's pubic hair or the tradition of reminiscing about intimate details of the dead person's conjugal life, so that the grief of mourning turns into tenderness. DVD2010
SONG FROM THE SOUTHERN SEAS SONG

2008, 80 min. Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Marat Sarulu. Two couples, one Russian and one Kazakh, live side by side in relative harmony in a beautiful yet semi-desolate region in the Great Steppe. But when the fair-skinned Russians give birth to a boy of decidedly darker skin, fifteen years of suspicion and acrimony arise between the neighbors, and can only be resolved by an ironic twist of family and fate. At times darkly somber, at other times tender and wistful – and buoyed throughout by a soundtrack of folk-inspired melodies – writer-director Marat Sarulu draws on Kazakhstan’s epic history to create a gritty and deeply compassionate tale of humor and cultural insight.

DVD 2008
SON OF THE FATHER OF THE PEOPLE SON 2013, 12 episodes. Russian without English subtitles. Directed by Sergei Ginzbur. The plot of this new 12 part serial tells the tragic story of Stalin’s son. The life of Vasilii Stalin was completely uprooted after the death of his infamous father. DVD 2013
STALINGRADDRUSSTAL01A 126 min. Russian, with English subtitles. Directed by Feder Bondarchuk. 1942, Stalingrad. Soviet troops are planning a counterattack on the German side, who took the right bank of the Volga. The attack failed. Only scounts under Capt. Gromov managed to get to the other side and gain a foothold in one of the houses. They were ordered to keep it at any cost. Apart from a few miraculously survived Soviet soldiers they find the last resident--19-year-old Katya. A German officer Kan gets the order to repel the house captured by the enemy. On the background of one of the bloodiest battles in human history there is a love story and a dramatic clash of characters. DVD2013
THE STOKER=STOK 2010, 87 min. Russian without subtitles. Directed by Aleksey Balabanov. The film tells the story of a retired major, a veteran from the war in Afganistan and an ethnic Yakut. He works at an old stokehold on the outskirts of the city and spends his free time working on a story on his typewriter. Outside, it is the feverish 1990s, the era of tempestuous changes in Russian society. The ubiquitous presence of organized crime even extends to his workplace, which gangsters use to incinerate corpses. DVD2010
THE STROLLPROG-1 90 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Alexei Uchitels. Watch the exploits of three young romantics as they dance around St. Petersburg, Russia, getting themselves involved in everything from a soccer riot to a rainstorm to a fight between best friends. Set in mostly real time, Olya, Alyosha and Petya act as if the world is their due and they live to enjoy every moment of it. DVD2003
TAKE OFF ONE EAR TAK 20 mins., Russian w/ English subtitles. Directed by Sabine Golz. An experimental music documentary based on SARMATICA's recording sessions in Kiev, Ukraine, in early 2010, and a meditation on the process of representation in general and music recording in particular. The music featured is a crossover project between early music (from the Lviv Lute Tablature) and Ukrainian folk styles. Thoughtful and poetic, it offers great music and engaging cinematography DVD 2010
THE TASTE OF THE POMEGRANATE: AN EASTERN TALE OF A RUSSIAN CINDERELLATAST 100 min. Russian without subtitles. Directed by Nonna Agadjanova and Anna Lobanova. A Russian series telling the story of a young orphan and her love affair with the nephew of an Arab sheikh.DVD-PAL2011
THANK YOU FOR BEING ALIVE: VYSOTSKY SPA 126 min., Russian. The plot of the motion picture is based on Vysotsky's dramatic life. The focal point is his near-death experience in Uzbekistan in 1979 while on tour. His constant creative search, intense work schedule and drug addiction resulted in a critical health condition. The singer decides to ignore the symptoms and goes to Uzbekistan, where in the exhausting heat of Bukhara he has a heart attack during a concert and experiences clinical death. The narration touches upon such eternal issues as: love and friendship, faith and official duty in the Soviet reality of the 1970s, unauthorized concerts, and the omnipresence of KGB. Struggling through a personal crisis, Vysotsky does his best to share his genius with the Soviet people while formally playing by the rules of Soviet regime. DVD 2011
THE THAW DRUSTHAW01A 660 min., Russian, no English subtitles. Directed by Valerii Todorovskii. After the death of a friend and screenwriter, Viktor Khrustalev and director Yegor M’achin decide to make a movie from his last production at all costs. But life happens such that, in order to make this film, they need to first shoot a different film, the consequences of which change everyone’s lives. This show tells the story of young people working in the film industry. They are young, beautiful, talented, and they’re in love. DVD 2013
THE THIEF THIE1 93 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Pavel Chukrai. This widely acclaimed film is arresting as both an intense drama about a troubling family dynamic, and as an allegory about the tension that filled the Soviet Union in the early years of the Cold War. Told through the eyes of a young boy born to a homeless mother, the story charts their "rescue" by a mysterious stranger, who may or may not have been an army officer, and his uneasy relationship with his new family. Winner of the International Youth Jury's prize, the President of the Italian Senate's Gold Medal, and the UNICEF Award at the 1997 Venice Film Festival. Winner for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress and Best Original Score at Russia's 1997 Nika Awards, and an Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film. DVD1997
TOUCH THE SKYKOS90 min., Russian. Directed by Leonid Gorovetz. 25 year-old Taisiya works at a women's magazine in the letters department. She gives advice to women about their family problems. She left her husband because she was tired of fighting with him. Then one day she saw a telephone number in the newspaper and she called it and hijinks ensued.DVD2008
TRIODRUSTRIO01A90 min., Russian, with English subtitles. Directed by Aleksandr Proshkin. Three operatives from the Russian heartland Nikolai, Aleksey and Marina Begin a secret operation to eliminate a gang and robbers. But professional duty isn’t the only thing keeping our heroes on the road. Searching for the bandits becomes more complex thanks to the complicated personal relationships of the two men and one woman. DVD2003
THE TUNERTUN 154 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Kira Muratova. A contemporary criminal drama and elegant psychological portrait of a refined conservatory student who puts into motion a plan to swindle money from elderly ladies who adore him. DVD2004
TURN OFF THE LIGHTSTUR 75 min., Russian no English subtitles. Directed by Saydo Kurbanov. The story takes place during the New Year’s Eve, when the lights are shut off in one of the residential buildings. As a result, the neighbors of the story are forced to meet the advent of the New Year on the common staircase. They suddenly see each other from a rather new perspective. Some of them, as a result of this unexpected New Year adventure, must radically change their respective lives. DVD2007
TWO IN ONEDVA 124 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Kira Muratova. On the day of a premiere a body is discovered in the theater: one of the actors has hanged himself, fully costumed, on the stage. This event brings about a clarification of the relationships between the stage workers, cleaners, lighters, costumers, and administrators, who all harbor old resentments and pent-up hatreds, tell their own versions of the incident, and keep skeletons in the closet. The corpse, meanwhile, continues to lie behind the curtain - it is too late to cancel the premiere. The curtain rises; the show begins. DVD2007
TYCOON: A NEW RUSSIANTYC, TYC-DVD 128 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Pavel Lounguine. Crime drama based on the life of notorious billionaire Boris Berezovsky, a Russian entrepreneur whose seductive and brutal climb to the top in the post-Soviet era flourishes as the line between business, crime and politics breaks down. DVD2002
VIVA CASTRO!VIVA*82 min. The story chronicles the coming of age of young Kolya, whose life is filled with romance, hardship, good times, and unexpected tragedy. Kolya is in love with his singing teacher, while one of his classmates harbors a crush on him. Complications ensue when his father skips town after stealing coins from a museum, and his mother is imprisoned for the crime.DVD1993
THE UGLY SWANS UGL 105 min. Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Konstantin Lopushanskii. The film is based on the famous novel by the Strugatsky brothers about a ghost town with a boarding school for gifted children, whose teachers, the wetters, are either mutants or aliens. The city experiences an inexplicable change of climate, resembling the Biblical Flood. Numerous commissions come to study the anomaly. Among the school’s children is the daughter of the writer Viktor Banev, who starts his own investigation of the situation, joining in the struggle not only for the children’s fate, but also for the shape of the future the humankind is going to choose. DVD2006
UNCLE STEPA, THE POLICEMANSTEP*93 min. A collection of cartoons including the famous “Diadia Stepa Militsioner” [“Unkle Stepa the policeman”] based on a famous poem by Sergei Mihalkov, “Petya i volk” [“Peter and the Wolf”] based on Sergey Prokofiev’s musical symphony for children, and many others. “Diadia Stepa Militsioner” is a story about a kind giant policeman, a hero and role model for the neighborhood children.DVD-PAL2008
A DRIVER FOR VERAVOD 112 min. Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Pavel Chukhrai. This story of love and political intrigue is set in Sevastopol, Crimea in the year 1962. Vera falls in love with Viktor, the chauffeur hired by her father, General Serov, but Viktor is attracted to the beautiful housekeeper Lida. Meanwhile, a power struggle between the KGB and the Soviet Army threatens not only these relationships but the lives of thousands of others. DVD2004
VINNI-PUKH AND EVERYONE, EVERYONE, EVERYONEVIN2 *104 min. A collection of Soviet cartoons from the 50s, 60s, and 70s including the “Vinni-Pukh” animated series, as well as such well-known cartoons as “Perviy urok” [“First Lesson”], “Dva zhadnikh medvezhonka” [“Two greedy bear cubs”], and many others. The Vinni-Pukh series shows the adventures of the enterprising, resourceful and epicurean bear Vinni-Pukh and his loyal friend Pyatachiok (better known to American viewers and readers as Winnie the Pooh and Piglet). The collection includes such famous episodes as “Vinni-Pukh Idyot v Gosti” [“Vinni-Pukh Goes Visiting”], “Vinni-Pukh Den Zabot,” [“Vinni-Pukh and a Busy Day”] and others. DVD-PAL2008
VOVOCHKAVOV 95 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Andrei Maksimov. Vovochka is a spontaneous ten-year-old boy with an insatiable knack for getting into trouble. This light, humorous family film from Russia, which spawned a television series, follows the boy's path of innocent destruction in a quiet suburban Moscow village in the days prior to the New Year holidays. DVD2002
V KRUGE PERVOM (IN THE FIRST CIRCLE)VKR (10 episodes, 45 minutes each). Russian/no subtitles. This film series is an adaptation of Alexandr Solzhenitsyn’s novel “In The First Circle.” Film’s title alludes to The First Circle of Dante's Hell -- where the souls of the pre-Christian philosophers are doomed to exist throughout eternity. It stands in this novel as a metaphor for certain penal institutions of Joseph Stalin's Russia. Set in Moscow during a three-day period in December 1949, “The First Circle” is the story of the prisoner Gleb Nerzhin, a brilliant mathematician. DVD PAL 2006
WARD NO. 6 WARD 83 min. Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Karen Shakhnazarov. A bold adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s legendary short story. It tells the story of Dr. Ragin, and how he ended up as a patient in the insane asylum he once led. Feeling isolated in town, Ragin holds long philosophical dialogues with his brilliant patient Gromov, which led him to question the nature of his own existence. Updating the 1892 tale to the present day, director Karen Shakhnazarov shot the film in a real mental institution on the outskirts of Moscow, conducting interviews with actual patients. DVD2009
WE ARE GOING TO AMERICA WEAR 118 min. Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Efim Gribov. Russian filmmaker Efim Gribov crafts a tragic-comic tale of one family's journey out of the shtetl and into a world of unknowns. Inspired by the paintings of Marc Chagall, the voyage is seen through the eyes of the 11-year-old Motl, who encounters comic and grotesque figures; the dreamy orphan Taibl, the Felliniesque madwoman Feigele; and an assortment of ghosts from the past. Luminous cinematography and atmospheric sets create a sense of wonder and chaotic adventure as this family makes its way towards America. DVD1992
THE WEDDINGWEDD 114 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Pavel Lungin. The main character returns home to a small mining town after a long time spent away. The girl had left for Moscow and, having experienced life in the capital, is returning to her first love. DVD2000
WINDOW TO PARISWIN 92 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Yuri Mamin. A wildly-inventive comedy that alternates romance with outrageous slapstick. Window to Paris is the story of a young musician who discovers a magic window which takes him from his rundown Russian apartment to the streets of Paris. DVD1993
YOU I LOVEYIL 83 min., Russian with English and French subtitles. Directed by Olga Stolpovskaya. Vera and Tim are successful, young professionals in modern Moscow. Their fast-paced lives crackle with the capitalist energy of excess, consumption and stress - and they are in love. But everything changes one night when Tim's car accidentally hits a cute, young guy named Uloomji who works at the zoo. When the two men begin a torrid love affair, Vera finds herself dragged into a bizarre and hilarious love triangle. DVD2004
ALIVEZHIV 92 min., Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Aleksandr Veledinsky. Kir, a young man, is returning home to a normal life after being wounded in Chechnya. His mother and girlfriend are waiting for him. He had taken a contract there in order to earn money to pay for his wedding. But civilian life is far from the ideals of justice. And when Kir understands this he is confused. At that moment in his life appear the ghosts of two of his wartime buddies who follow him around. They are his friends…they saved his life, even if they themselves are no longer on this earth. But why can’t they leave him alone and why do they constantly follow him around? Maybe it is he who has to forgive himself? DVD2006

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CIS Films

Title Code Description Format Year
4 FILMS BY OTAR IOSSELIANIFRFI, FRFI2 Georgian with English subtitles. Directed by Otar Iosseliani. The world of Iosseliani is one of gentle observation of the absurdities of everyday life. Often compared to Jacques Tati, his films feel like "silent talkies". They combine a unique sense of nostalgia and a poetic casualness to create a universe of joyous pessimism. This two-disc set includes:
  • APRIL (1962, 45 min.), a charming, nearly wordless fable about young love and its destruction through obsessive consumerism
  • FALLING LEAVES (1966, 91 min.), a cautionary tale about an idealist and an ambitious opportunist who start work at a winery at the same time
  • THERE ONCE WAS A SINGING BLACKBIRD (1970, 78 min.), a comic portrait of a tympanist who lets his devotion to wine, women, and song get in the way of his responsibilities
  • PASTORALE (1976, 91 min.), an unusual story about a string quartet on holiday in Soviet Georgia.
All four films were banned or censored by Soviet authorities upon their initial release, which ultimately led to Iosseliani's exile from his native Georgia.
DVD1962, 1966, 1970, 1976
ASHIK KERIBASHIK 74 min., Georgian with English subtitles. Directed by Sergei Paradjanov. Lermontov’s famous fable tells of Ashik Kerib, the wandering minstrel who is trying to earn enough money to marry the girl he loves. But when the father of his beloved spurns him, Ashik is forced to roam the land for 1001 nights. In recounting the story, Paradjanov uses a series of exquisitely composed, choreographed, and photographed tableaux. He also combines intertitles with images of early Russian artwork, which are then overlaid with haunting blend of traditional and contemporary music. DVD1988
FAMINE 33FAM1 95 min., Ukrainian with English subtitles. Directed by Oles Yanchuk. Searing drama of genocide covered for a generation. Based on Vasil Barka's novel The Yellow Prince VHS1991
BESHKEMPIR, THE ADOPTED SON BESH 97 min. Russian with English subtitles. Directed by Akhtan Abdykalykov. Beshkempir is an exquisitely composed and photographed child-to-man tale of a Kyryz villager. Beshkempir is just like any other kid – playing in mud, getting into trouble, experiencing the first pangs of sexuality – until a fight with his best friend leads to the revelation that he was adopted. What sounds like a cliché takes on a striking resonance here in a mostly pre-industrial society where the daily rituals are so earth-based that Beshkempir’s request for money to see a movie comes as an anachronism. Shot in gorgeous black and white, the film explodes into occasional bursts of color. Beshkempir, The Adopted Son is a rare poetic treat. DVD 2004
FEASTS OF BALTHASAR OR ONE NIGHT WITH STALINFEA 88 min., Russian with English subtitles, Directed by Yuriy Kara. Based on Fazil Iskander's novel Sandro from Chegen, this movie takes place in Georgia. Sandro, a dancer from Chegem performs at a feast for Stalin. VHS1990
THE LEGEND OF SURAM FORTRESSLEG 83 min., Georgian with English subtitles. Directed by Sergei Paradjanov. Repeated efforts by the Georgian people to construct a defensive stronghold continually fail. The building they are laboring to complete collapses, but then a fortune teller remembers an old prophecy: in order for the fortress to stand, the son of the erstwhile lover must be bricked up inside the structure – alive. The young main is faced with the prospect of sacrificing himself to save his homeland. Inspired by a Russian folk tale, Legend is a surreal ode to Georgian warriors throughout the ages who died for their country. DVD1984
LONG KNIVES NIGHT AND REPORTING FROM A RABBIT HUTCH LKN 96 min., Russian. Directed by Victor Dashuk. With fury and agony, “Long Knives Night” and “Reporting from a Rabbit Hutch” confront Europe’s last dictator: Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus. Writer/director Victor Dashuk has risked imprisonment and abuse – common for dissidents, as you see in the films – to depict and attack Lukashenko’s rise to authority. DVD 1999, 2001
MONGOLMON 126 min., Mongolian with English subtitles. Directed by Sergei Bodrov. Before Genghis Khan became a warlord, he was simply a man named Temudgin. Exiled into slavery and forced into a life of struggle after his father is killed, he survived on the strength of a single dream: to unite his people into the largest empire the world has ever known. This sweeping epic full of breathtaking landscapes and bloody battles follows the warrior as he escapes bondage, finds love, and becomes the general who would create history’s most powerful empire. DVD2007
THE PLEAPLE 77 min., Georgian with English subtitles. Directed by Tenghiz Abuladze. The downfall of heroes, knights of truth and goodness, makes the Poet consider the invincibility of evil. Fatigued by battle and deprivation, the Poet lays down his arms. All his favorite heroes then come to him and light candles in bowls with beer - a ritual gesture signaling renunciation. Thus seeing how trouble and misery leave in their wake a refusal to fight against evil, the Poet once again takes up arms. Part of a trilogy that also includes The Wishing Tree and Repentance. DVD1968
REPENTANCE REP2 151 min., Georgian with English subtitles. Directed by Tenghize Abdulaze. A breakthrough Soviet film, a surrealist masterpiece. Set in a mysterious, fictional Russian province, where a woman is arrested for repeatedly digging up the body of a despotic local ruler. It is a brutal allegorical satire of Stalinist rule. Part of a trilogy that also includes The Plea and The Wishing Tree. DVD1987
RYURIKIRIUR *400 min. Russian without subtitles. Directed by Alexandr Bondarenko. A nine episode series that takes place in a small Ukrainian village, where a young teacher from the capital is sent to teach history at a local school.DVD-PAL2011
SHADOWS OF FORGOTTEN ANCESTORS SHA2, SHA3 92 min., Ukrainian with English subtitles. Directed by Sergei Paradjanov. Sergei Paradjanov's masterpiece, a brilliant, epic story of star-crossed lovers set against the ethnographic panorama of the Carpathian Mountains. The film is a visual tour-de-force of symbols, metaphor, lyrical photography and active camera as it interweaves myth and narrative into an elliptical, seamless work of art. Its images "become superimposed on the mind, and will emerge later with a new and more profound meaning, a meaning that escapes logical analysis, that cannot be grasped intellectually, but which calls upon us to respond with feeling" (Robert Walke). With Ivan Nikolaichuk and Larisa Kadochnikova. DVD1964
THE WISHING TREEWIS 107 min., Georgian with English subtitles. Directed by Tenghiz Abuladze. Unable to bear being separated from his love, Marita, Gedia returns to his native village. In the meantime, elders had married Marita to a rich man. Their reunion awakens their former love, but the elders change the fates of the young heroes when they exact their punishment. Part of a trilogy that also includes The Plea and Repentance. DVD1997

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