Elena / Елена

Elena (Елена) is a 2011 drama by Russian director Andrei Zvyagintsev (Андрей Звягинцев). Zvyagintsev is also well-known for his films The Return (Возвращение, 2003) and Leviathan (Левиафан, 2014), among others. Elena stars Nadezhda Markina (Надежда Маркина), who received a Nika Award for her role, and Elena Lyadova (Елена Лядова), and has music by American composer […]

The Return / Возвращение

The Return (Возвращение) is a 2003 Russian drama, one of the most globally famous among recent-ish Russian art films. The film tells the story of two young brothers, Andrey and Ivan, whose father unexpectedly appears in their lives. The brothers have barely even met their father before this—they know him only from a single old […]

Bishkek, I Love You / Бишкек, я люблю тебя

Bishkek, I Love You (Бишкек, я люблю тебя) is a 2011 Kyrgyz comedy/drama film. The film’s tagline was “The first film about your favorite city” (“Первый фильм про твой любимый город”), highlighting how its goal was not only to tell a good story but specifically to give Bishkek the film treatment it deserves. Ruslan Akun […]

Salaam, New York / Салам, Нью-Йорк

Salaam, New York (Салам, Нью-Йорк) is a 2013 Kyrgyz film by director Ruslan Akun (Руслан Акун), who also directed and wrote 2011’s Bishkek, I Love You (Бишкек, я люблю тебя). Akun also wrote the film, along with Gulzhan Toktogulova (Гульжан Токтогулова). It was based on true events—Akun’s time studying at a visual arts school in […]

Jamilya / Джамилья

Jamilya (Джамилья) is a 1968 Kyrgyz drama and a classic of Kyrgyz and Russian cinema. Jamilya is based on the 1958 book of the same name by Chingiz Aitmatov (Чингиз Айтматов), who is probably Kyrgyzstan’s greatest cultural export and certainly its best-loved writer. (A statue of him stands right across from the main square in […]

The Admiral / Адмиралъ

The Admiral (Адмиралъ) is a 2008 biopic by Russian director Andrey Kravchuk (Андрей Кравчук). The film deals with the life of Aleksandr Kolchak, vice-admiral of the Imperial Russian Navy and a leader of the anticommunist White Movement during the Russian Civil War. A major aspect of the film is also the love triangle among Kolchak, […]

The Master and Margarita / Мастер и Маргарита

The Master and Margarita (Мастер и Маргарита) is a 2005 TV miniseries based on the fantastical, bizarre, venerable book by Mikhail Bulgakov (Михаил Булгаков). Bulgakov, a Russian/Ukrainian/Soviet writer born in Kyiv, was one of the most esteemed writers of the Soviet period, though his works, of which The Master and Margarita is the most famous, […]

The Island / Остров

The Island (Остров) is a 2006 Russian drama directed by Pavel Lungin (Павел Лунгин). Lungin is one of Russia’s most well-established and well-respected contemporary filmmakers, and The Island is a valuable part of his directorial portfolio. The film takes place in a secluded monastery on the White Sea. Anatoly is a monk who lives in […]

Vysotsky, Thank You for Being Alive / Высоцкий. Спасибо, что живой!

Vysotsky, Thank You for Being Alive (Высоцкий. Спасибо, что живой!) is a 2011 biopic about legendary Russian bard and singer-songwriter Vladimir Vysotsky (Владимир Высоцкий). Vysotsky, who died in 1980, is one of the best-loved cultural figures in Russian and Soviet history. There have been numerous books and movies made about him, in addition to his […]

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