Slavic

Russia’s Top 9 Films From 2019

After a few years of record-breaking growth, Russia’s film industry took a break in 2019. Many analysts attribute this to stagnating incomes, but it seems an even bigger issue is the failure of this year’s lineup to really capture Russian values and imaginations. Much like in 2018, the films that did best are those that […]

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The Hunter (2011): Learning Russian Through Film

The Hunter (2011; Охотник), directed by Bakur Bakuradze, is a film of few words. Starring Mikhail Barskovich, Tatyana Shapolova, and Gera Avdochenok, the film employs lesser-known actors in the creation of this deeply moving picture. The film was critically well received and was nominated for the UN Certain Regard Award at the 2011 Cannes Film […]

Leviathan (2014): Learning Russian Through Film

Leviathan (2014; Левиафан) is a powerful film that lives up to its theological title. The film stars well-known actors who participated in director Andrey Zviaginstev’s other pictures, namely Aleksey Serebryakov, Elena Lyadova, and Roman Madyanov. Zviaginstev is known for his landscape-heavy film style in which the sublime seems to play its own character. This can […]

The Bremen Town Musicians: Songs of Freedom and Controversy

The Bremen Town Musicians (Бременские музыканты) is one of the first animated rock operas released in the USSR. It has since become popular among all generations, first in the Soviet Union and later gained reputation internationally. One of the film’s main draws was its unforgettable soundtrack and style, which drew from the latest global fashions […]

FO SHO: Three Black, Jewish Sisters Driving Ukrainian Hip-Hop

When she was six years old, Bethlehem (Betty) Endale’s parents asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up. She still clearly remembers her reply: “Well, I will be a singer.” With her sisters Miriam and Siona, Betty went on to form the group FO SHO, a hip-hop project that has garnered both […]

Ivan Vasilievich Changes Profession

Ivan Vasilievich Changes Profession (Иван Васильевич меняет профессию) is a legendary Russian-language comedy film released in 1973 under the USSR. It is is available for free on YouTube with English and Russian subtitles and HD quality. At once a comedy, a sci-fi, and a (very loosely) period piece, its surreal storyline spans both the 20th […]

Milos Bikovic: Serbian Actor and Producer

Milos Bikovic (Милош Бикович) is a Serbian and Russian film actor, theatrical performer, and producer. He is best known for his roles in modern Russian films and TV serials. Born on 13 January 1988 in Belgrade, he became a Russian citizen in 2021 after living and working there for many years. Milos acted in national […]

Kalush Orchestra: The “Conscious” Folk-Rap That Brought Ukraine to Eurovision Victory

The first rap that Oleh Psiuk ever wrote was a diss on his school teacher, much to the joy of his fellow classmates. He was only 15 years old, on track to become an engineer like his father. He loved music and was an avid listener of artists like Eminem, NWA, Eazy E, and Ice […]

Alina Pash: Ukrainian and Rusyn Experimental-Folk Music From the Heart

When asked to describe herself, Alina Pash proudly declares that she is “100% Bitanga” (a word from the Rusyn language meaning “Hooligan”). True to that characterization, she often pushes boundaries through both her personal style and the content of her music. Not wanting to conform to anyone else’s agenda, she even created her own music […]

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