Taras Bulba / Тарас Бульба

Taras Bulba (Тарас Бульба) is a 2009 Russian historical drama based on the Gogol story of the same name. The story, first published in the 1830s, is about a Zaporozhian Cossack (a Ukrainian self-governing military tribe) colonel, Taras Bulba—loosely based on some historical figures—and his sons, who join the war against Poland. Much of the […]

Winnie-the-Pooh / Винни Пух

Winnie-the-Pooh (Винни Пух in Russian) is a Soviet/Russian animated “children’s” series, and the Russian version of the all-time American classic (well, sort of). The Russian version, although also based on the book series, is different in almost every way—from the unusual animation to the sometimes dark subject matter and Pooh’s exceptional air of melancholy. Technically, […]

OrAngeLove / Оранжлав

OrAngeLove (Оранжлав; the stylized capitalization is a feature of the English-language title) is a Ukrainian 2009 drama about love, AIDS, and the 2005 Orange Revolution. The film takes place vaguely against the background of the Orange Revolution, but worlds apart from it. Two people, Katya and Roman, after falling in love on a trolleybus, have locked […]

Orange Sky / Помаранчеве небо

Orange Sky (Помаранчеве небо) is a 2006 Ukrainian film that turns the 2005 Orange Revolution into a love story. The film’s tag line, “Revolution is love” (“Революція—це кохання”), is a pretty neat expression of the film’s content. The film tells the story of Mark Zaduhka (Марк Задуха), one of Ukraine’s so-called “golden youth.” He’s from […]

Russian Ark / Русский ковчег

Russian Ark (Русский ковчег) is a 2002 film directed by Aleksandr Sokurov (Александр Сокуров). The film was shot in a single, 96-minute take and filmed entirely inside the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg. It was an entry into the 2002 Cannes Film Festival. The film features an unnamed narrator who leads a character known as […]

Aurora / Аврора

Aurora (Аврора) is a 2006 Ukrainian drama that puts a human face on the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. The film is in both Russian and Ukrainian. The film takes place in the 1980s and tells the story of adolescent Aurora (played by Анастасія Зюркалова), who lives in an orphanage in Pripyat, Ukraine (Прип’ять), and dreams of […]

Doctor Zhivago

Doctor Zhivago is a 1965 British–Italian romantic drama set in Russia in the years leading up to World War I and the time during World War I and the Russian Civil War. The movie was based on the novel by Boris Pasternak, which was banned in the Soviet Union due to its independent-minded stance on the October […]

Brest Fortress / Брестская крепость

Brest Fortress (Брестская крепость) is a 2010 Russian and Belorussian historical/war drama film. It is about the defense of the fortress against the Nazis, which was one of the first World War II battles that the Soviet Union took part in. The film is highly accurate to the real-life event, presenting a documentary-like look at […]

Ninth Company / 9 Рота

Ninth Company (9 Рота) is a 2005 Russian war film about the Soviet Union’s war with Afghanistan. The war, between the Soviets—supported by Afghan allies—and Afghan guerrilla-type soldiers, lasted from 1979 to 1989. The film takes place toward the end of this period and is based on a true story, that of the “battle at […]

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