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[CANCELED] Russia at War Film Series: Prisoner of the Mountains
March 1, 2022 @ 7:00 pm
** Please note, this screening has been canceled **
Few countries have been shaped by war as much as Russia. War, in many ways, is the burden of Russian history. Not surprisingly, Russian cinema (Soviet and post-Soviet) offers some of the most profound representations of war in the history of film. At the same time, filmmakers around the world have engaged with the Soviet Union and Russia as a threat or an invading force in places like Ukraine, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. Join us on March 1 in the Nelson Mandela Auditorium for the second film in this semester’s series dedicated to the depictions of war in Russian cinema and of Russia at war.
Prisoner of the Mountains (Кавказский пленник)
Sergei Bodrov / 1996 / 99 minutes
In Russian with English subtitles
The experience of war often boils down to brief human encounters, private meaning and actions that reflect personal, not ideological motivations. Russian director and screenwriter Sergei Bodrov reinforces this point with sure-handed subtlety in his moving update of Leo Tolstoy’s story, Prisoner of the Caucasus. While on patrol in the Caucasus mountains, two Russian soldiers are taken prisoner by the head of a Chechen village, who wants to trade them for his own son, who is held captive by the Russians. The two prisoners cope with the situation in very different ways, as the war-hardened and cynical sergeant Sasha (Oleg Menshikov) works to escape while the young and naive conscript Vanya (Sergei Bodrov, Jr.) tries to make friends with his captor and falls in love with his daughter Dina. After an escape attempt fails, the different personalities of the two prisoners determine their fate.