Icebreaker film

Russia’s Top Russian Movies: October 2016

Published: November 3, 2016

Like in most places in the world, Russia’s silver screens are dominated by Hollywood’s global blockbusters. Russia’s film industry has struggled with the financial crisis, but it is also capable of producing films that can occasionally compete locally with the American machine. Once a month, SRAS provides a lineup of the top Russian movies in Russia that ranked in the top 10 for weekend box-office take.

Below are films listed with their English and Russian titles (note that they differ sometimes), as well as how much the film has earned to date.


1. Ледокол–Icebreaker—$3.8 million as of October 30

This new Russian action/adventure film is based on a true story. In 1985, the Soviet icebreaker Mikhail Gromov barely missed colliding with a giant iceburg. However, in making emergency maneuvers to avoid the collision, it became trapped in the ice and was stranded off the coast of Antarctica. With the cold sinking in and fuel running out, the ship’s crew was forced to making harrowing decisions to ensure their survival.


2. Коллектор—Collector—$.66 million as of October 30

Artur is a master debt collector. He works only with those who owe very large debts, learns everything about them, then uses psychological attacks against them. He has never resorted to violence and has kept his identity a secret. But then he becomes a target: a scandalous video of him appears on the Internet, he loses his friends and colleagues, and his reputation is slipping away. Soon, he finds out his very life is in danger and he has only one night to discover who is targeting him. This film was awarded the prize for Best Actor and Best Cinematography at the XXVII Kinotavr Open Russian Film Festival in 2016. It also won a Fedora Award at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

3. Держи удар, детка—Take That, Baby—$.6 million as of October 30

Physically, no one can tell twins Sveta and Tanya apart. But there, their similarities end. Sveta is ultra-feminine and building a career in television. Tanya is preparing to try out for Russia’s national boxing team. Then, Tanya gets injured. She persuades Sveta to change places with her while she heals so that she can get credit for the medical examination and training she needs to make the team on time. Sveta agrees, but only on the condition that Tanya will take her place on TV. Both girls have to act outside their boxes to make the other’s dreams come true.

4. Ученик—The Studier—$.2 million as of October 30

Benjamin is a passionate student of moral norms. He knows how they must be complied with and what is right and wrong. But his preaching becomes a serious challenge to those around him and becomes a reason to question where the line lines between morality and intolerance, freedom and sinning, religion and terrorism. This film won the award for Best Direction at the the XXVII Kinotavr Open Russian Film (2016) and was nominated for Best Film there. It also won the Francois Chalet Award at the Cannes Film Festival (2016).

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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