Earthquake / Землетрясение

Published: February 13, 2017

Earthquake (Землетрясение) is a 2016 historical drama by Russian–Armenian director Sarik Andreasyan (Сарик Андреасян). The film depicts the massive earthquake, and its aftermath, that shook Armenia on December 7, 1988. Starring Konstantin Lavronenko (Константин Лавроненко), Mariya Mironova (Мария Миронова), Viktor Stepanyan (Виктор Степанян), and Tatev Ovakimyan (Татев Овакимян), the film has seen a lot of popularity in Russia.

On December 7, 1988, a massive earthquake hit nearly the entire republic of Armenia, destroying the cities of Spitak (Спитак), Leninakan (Ленинакан), Kirovakan (Кировакан), and Stepanavan (Степанаван), among some 300 other populated areas. The disaster left 25,000 dead, 19,000 severely injured, and more than half a million homeless.

The film uses this catastrophic context to follow the stories of two main characters, Konstantin Berezhniy and Robert Melkonyan. Years before the earthquake, Konstantin caused a car wreck that killed Robert’s parents. As a result, Konstantin spent several years in prison, and the young Robert was left to live with relatives. By an unlikely twist of fate, Konstantin returns to his wife, daughter, and son on the same day as the massive earthquake. Robert, who has yet to forgive Konstantin for his crime, ends up involved in the relief effort. The two encounter each other early on, but do not immediately recognize each other. The rest of the film deals with these two coming to terms with their entangled pasts while trying to help victims of the earthquake.


Director: Sarik Andreasyan (Сарик Андреасян)
Stars: Konstantin Lavronenko (Константин Лавроненко), Mariya Mironova (Мария Миронова), Viktor Stepanyan (Виктор Степанян), and Tatev Ovakimyan (Татев Овакимян)
Production company: Bolshoe Kino
Box office take: $3,628,615


Official trailer:



About the author

Josh Wilson

Josh has lived in Moscow since 2003, when he first arrived to study Russian with SRAS. He holds an M.A. in Theatre and a B.A. in History from Idaho State University, where his masters thesis was written on the political economy of Soviet-era censorship organs affecting the stage. At SRAS, Josh assists in program development and leads our Home and Abroad Programs. He is also the editor-in-chief for the SRAS newsletter, the SRAS Family of Sites, and Vestnik. He has previously served as Communications Director to Bellerage Alinga and has served as a consultant or translator to several businesses and organizations with interests in Russia.

Program attended: SRAS Staff Member

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