Dukhless 2

DukhLess 2 (ДухLess 2; “Soulless 2”) is a Russian drama released in 2015, the sequel to 2012’s popular DukhLess. Sergey Minaev, the author of the book that the first DukhLess was based on, contributed to the screenplay.

In the film, Max has totally changed his life and given up the high-paying career he had at the beginning of the previous film. He has moved to Bali, but he’s unable to totally escape from his former life, which catches up with him—including in the form of a woman he loved and lost. He’s forced to return to Moscow, where he must make a difficult decision about his future—he can either go to prison for a crime he didn’t commit, or sell out an innocent man.

Reviews of the film were mixed, overall, it garnered better reviews than the first film, with some critics thinking that it was far better than the first. Kinopressa praised the film as Russia’s “first political blockbuster,” comparing it to the critical favorite Leviathan and calling it “brave,” saying that it was one of the rare Russian films that made a strong statement about contemporary politics. Film.ru, though, did not react as positively, pointing out that the jokes about President Putin in the second film were weaker than those in the first. Audiences responded relatively positively to DukhLess 2, though it did not sell nearly as many tickets as the first film.

In some English-speaking countries, it was released under the title The Downshifter.

Director: Roman Prygunov
Stars: Danila Kozlovskiy, Maria Andreeva, Milosh Bikovich, Pavel Vorozhtsov, Aleksandra Bortich
Production company: Kinoslovo
Box office take: $7.9 million

Official trailer:

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Dukhless 2

Julie is currently studying Russian as a Second Language in Irkutsk (and before that, Bishkek) with SRAS's Home and Abroad Scholarship program, with the goal of someday having some sort of Russia/Eurasia-related career. She recently got her master’s degree from the University of Glasgow and the University of Tartu, where she studied women’s dissent in Soviet Russia. She also has a bachelor’s degree in literature from Yale. Some of her favorite Russian authors are Sorokin, Shishkin, Il’f and Petrov, and Akhmatova. In her spare time Julie cautiously practices martial arts, reads feminist websites, and taste-tests instant coffee for her blog.