The Duelist (Дуэлянт) is a 2016 Russian adventure drama written and directed by indie filmmaker Aleksey Mizgirev (Алексей Мизгирев). Starring Pyotr Fyodorov (Пётр Фёдоров), Vladimir Mashkov (Владимир Машков), and Sergeу Garmash (Сергей Гармаш), the film is the third Russian film released in IMAX.

The film is set in Saint Petersburg in 1860. The retired officer Yakovlev has started participating in shooting duels for money, dueling in someone else’s stead in accordance with Russian dueling laws. His second is a German baron and the main organizer of these duels. Everyone involved in the dueling circle are in debt to the mysterious Count Beklemisheva (Беклемишева), a favorite of the Grand Duchess Alexandra Iosifovny. Wounded in a duel, and in a delirious state, Yakovlev has a visions of the distant past in which he is in the Aleutian Islands being pulled half-dead from a wrecked ship. Afterward, he is in an officer’s club where he is known as Lieutenant Kolychev, and later he is punished in the presence of Count Beklemisheva for refusing to shoot in a duel. Later, the Count employs Yakovlev to duel with and kill the officer Tuchkov. The baron arranges for Tuchkov to lose an exorbitant amount of money at cards, leaving a duel as his only recourse for payment. Yakovlev is chosen as Tuchkov’s opponent. Though Yakovlev duels for money, he also fights for revenge against those who have disgraced him in the past.


Director: Aleksey Mizgirev (Алексей Мизгирев).
Stars: Pyotr Fyodorov (Пётр Фёдоров), Vladimir Mashkov (Владимир Машков), Sergeу Garmash (Сергей Гармаш)
Production company: Non-Stop Productions
Box office take: $6.01 million


Official trailer:



Zach Hicks is a PhD student in Comparative Literature at the University of Oregon. He is currently participating in SRAS's Home and Abroad scholarship program. His main areas of interest are twentieth-century Russian and Soviet literature, socialist modernism, and critical theory. Outside of academics his major interests are martial arts, the outdoors, and music. In Russia, he plans to continue to increase his language proficiency, to learn as much as possible about the Russian underground music scene, its tattoo culture, and to become a student of Russia’s native martial art, SAMBO.