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Film Series

We regular host a Russian Film Series featuring Russian and foreign films about Russia and the region.

Past Film Series

2019 Spring Semester Film Series: "Glorious Past, Undefined Present"

ILCN211, 6:00PM
All films are in Russian with English subtitles or in English

January 29: Движение вверх (Three Seconds) (2017)
(Dir. Anton Megerdichev)
Film based on real events that occurred in 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. It focuses on a legendary final battle between USSR and USA basketball teams.

February 21: Девятая рота (9th Company) (2005)
(Dir. Fedor Bondarchuk)
Young Soviet Army recruits are stuck in the bloody war in Afghanistan, that was started by politicians.

March 5: Битва за Севастополь (Battle for Sevastopol) (2015)
(Dir. Sergey Mokritsky)
A story of Lyudmila Pavlichenko, the most successful female sniper in history.

March 28: Поп (The Priest) (2009)
(Dir. Vladimir Khotinenko)
Father Alexander is trying to maintain peaceful life for his church amidst the Nazi occupation during WWII.

April 16: Время первых (Spacewalk) (2017)
(Dir. Dmitrii Kiselev)
The film is set in the 60s of the 20th century, during the Cold War and the space race between USSR and the United States. Russians plan to send a man into space. Military pilot Pavel Belyayev and Alexey Leonov are ready to step into the open space. But on the way they face many obstacles and dangers.

2018 Fall Semester Film Series: "Homo Soveticus: Formation of Soviet Identity"

ILC S140, 5:30 PM

All films are in Russian with English subtitles or in English


September 20: Октябрь (October: Ten Days that Shook the World) (1927)

(Dir. Grigory Alexandrov, Sergey Eisenstein)
In documentary style, events in Petrograd are re-enacted from the end of the monarchy in February of 1917 to the end of the provisional government and the decrees of peace and of land in November of that year. Lenin returns in April. In July, counter-revolutionaries put down a spontaneous revolt, and Lenin's arrest is ordered. By late October, the Bolsheviks are ready to strike: ten days will shake the world. While the Mensheviks vacillate, an advance guard infiltrates the palace. Anatov-Oveyenko leads the attack and signs the proclamation dissolving the provisional government.

October 4: My Friend Ivan Lapshin (Мой друг Иван Лапшин) (1985)
(Dir. Alexey German)
Set in 1935 in the fictional provincial town of Unchansk the film is presented as the recollections of a man who at the time was a nine-year-old boy living with his father in a communal flat shared with criminal police investigator Ivan Lapshin and a number of other characters. There are several plot strands: a provincial troupe of actors arrive and put on a play without much success; a friend of Lapshin's, the journalist Khanin, shows up, depressed after his wife's death; and Lapshin investigates the Solovyov gang of criminals. Lapshin falls in love with the actress Natasha Adashova, but she is in love with Khanin. It is "a film about people 'building socialism' on a bleak frozen plain, their town's one street a long straggle of low wooden buildings beneath a huge white sky, leading from the elegant stucco square by the river's quayside out into wilderness"

October 18: Wings (Крылья) (1966)

(Dir. Larisa Shepitko Volochine, James Keogh)
For her first feature after graduating from the All-Russian State Institute for Cinematography (VGIK), Larisa Shepitko trained her lens on the fascinating Russian character actress Maya Bulgakova, who gives a marvelous performance as a once heroic Russian fighter pilot now living a quiet, disappointingly ordinary life as a school principal. Subtly portraying one woman’s desperation with elegant, spare camera work and casual, fluid storytelling, Shepitko, with Wings, announced herself as an important new voice in Soviet cinema.

November 1: Little Vera (Маленькая Вера) (1988)

(Dir. Vasili Pichul)

In Russia, the ordinary teenager Vera lives a leisured life with her drunkard father and her simpleton mother, without working and waiting for the calling for a technical course of telephone operator. Her brother Victor lives in Moscow with the family of his own and occasionally visits his dysfunctional family and Vera, being always motive for arguing. When Vera meets the student of university Sergei, they fall in love for each other and decide to get married. Sergei moves to Vera's house, but lives in conflict with her father. This relationship leads the family to a tragedy.


November 8: Putin's Kiss (2011)

(Dir. Lise Birk Pedersen)

Masha Drokova joins Nashi, a Russian ultra nationalist youth group, at the age of 16 and rapidly ascends its ranks, famously garnering a medal and the opportunity to kiss Vladimir Putin. The film details her growing disillusion with the group's leaders and her falling in with the anti-Putin opposition, especially a journalist and blogger named Oleg Kashin, who gets brutally attacked.


December 3: Pavlensky: Life Naked (2016)

(Dir. Darya Khrenova)

Petr Pavlensky, artist and activist, is in the vanguard of forging social change in Russia. Through an array of courageous performances, he acts as society’s conscience in the face of an increasingly totalitarian state. From lying naked in a coil of barbed wire, to nailing his scrotum to the floor of Red Square, his acts of defiance aim to spark debate and catalyse reform. This doc follows his mission to challenge the state.
Introduction by and Q&A with film director, Darya Khrenova


2018 Spring Semester Film Series: "Documentaries"

ILC S240, 5:45 PM

All films are in English or in Russian with English subtitles


February 27: My Perestroika

(Dir. Robin Hessman)

The story of five people from the last generation of Soviet children who were brought up behind the Iron Curtain. Just coming of age when the USSR collapsed, they witnessed the world of their childhood crumble and change beyond recognition. Through the lives of these former schoolmates, this intimate film reveals how they have adjusted to their post-Soviet reality in today's Moscow.

March 20: Pavlensky. Life Naked

(Dir. Darya Khrenova)

Petr Pavlensky, artist and activist, is leading the way in forging social change in Russia. Through an multiple courageous performances, he acts as society's conscience in the face of an increasingly totalitarian state. From lying naked in a coil of barbed wire, to nailing his scrotum to the floor of Red Square, his acts of defiance aim to spark debate and catalyse reform. This documentary follows his mission to challenge the state.

April 12: Oleg's Choice

(Dir. Elena Volochine, James Keogh)

Oleg's Choice is a rare immersion into the private lives and thoughts of Russian combatants who have chosen to fight on the separatists side in Ukraine. Since the summer of 2014, thousands of young Russians poured into the Donbass region. Driven by Russian propaganda, they believed they were fulfilling their patriotic duty. This is a human story on the borders of good and evil, where men are confronted by their own choices.

April 24: Happy People: A Year in Taiga

(Dir. Werner Herzog, Dmitry Vasyukov)

A documentary depicting the life and work of the trappers of Bakhtia, a village in the heart of the Siberian Taiga, where daily life has changed little in over a century.


2017 Fall Semester Film Series:

September 28, Thursday: 
Курьер/Courier (1986, 88 mins, IMDb 8.1/10): 
The story of a teenager boy in times of the comunism fall in the Soviet Union.

October 17, Tuesday: 
Шапито Шоу/Chapiteau Show (2011, 106 mins, IMDb 7.7/10)
It is a movie-riddle, a movie-joke, a movie-labyrinth. 4 parts and 4 travels to the sea, 4 crossed short stories: Love, Friendship, Respect and Cooperation. 
We will watch the first two: Love and Friendship

November 2, Thursday:
Левиафан/Leviathan (2014, 140 mins, IMDb 7.6/10)
In a Russian coastal town, Kolya is forced to fight the corrupt mayor when he is told that his house will be demolished. He recruits a lawyer friend to help, but the man's arrival brings further misfortune for Kolya and his family.

November 15, Tuesday
Я шагаю по Москве/ Walking the Streets of Moscow (1964, 78 mins, IMDb 8.0/10)
Young Siberian writer Volodya meets Kolya in the Moscow metro in his visit to a famous author. Volodya and Kolya's friend Sasha adventure their love interests in their own way, while Kolya sets out to help them.

November 28, Tuesday
Свадьба/The Wedding (2000, 114 mins, IMDb 7.2/10)
Five years ago, Tania left her small village and left to Moscow, pursuing a career as a model. Now she returns, and for everyone's surprise, she decides to marry Mishka, her former lover. As the preparations for the wedding begin, many passions are set loose. he Wedding night will be full of surprises.