Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

You are here: Home Chanin Language Center Resources Russian Films/Themes by Title

Russian Films/Themes by Title

Title Call ID #
Andrei Rublev DVRU 800
Andrei Rublev:  Russian (English subtitles) 205 mins. 1973. Immediately suppressed by the Soviets in 1966, Andrei Tarkovsky's epic masterpiece is a sweeping medieval tale of Russia's greatest icon painter. Too experimental, too frightening, too violent, and too political complicated to be released officially, Andrei Rublev existed only in shortened, censored versions until the criterion collection created this complete 205-minute director's cut special edition.
Andrei Rublev
VRU 306
Andrei Tarkovsky: Russian (English subtitles) 185 mins.1966. The dazzling and harrowing tale of the fifteenth century icon painter who survives the cruelties of medieval Russia to create works of art. As bloody tartar raids, religious brutality, and pagan rites work to quell Rublev's desires and needs, he undertakes a spiritual Odyssey that affirm man's ability to transcend adversity. This restored director's cut is presented in letterbox format.
The Anna Akhmatova File
VRU 309
Semeon Aranovitch:  Russian (English Subtitles) 65 Mins. (1989). A moving portrait of the extraordinary Soviet poet, Anna Akhmatova.Although her work was banned and went unpublished for 17 years, her poem 'Requiem' became the underground anthem for the millions who suffered under Stalin. This film whichses Akhmatova's diaries for contemporaries-Boris Pasternak, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Mikhail Sostchenko.
Anna Karenina (Part I) DVRU 807 A Aleksandr Zarkhi: Russian. (English Subtitles) 77 Mins. The melodrama centers around a tragic story of love and infidelity, the destiny of a woman who irrevocably changes her life for the sake of a passion.Anna Karenina finds it impossible to renounce her feelings for the loved one. She rejects the morals of society and tries to defend her right to love. Her husband bars Anna from her son, her acquaintances turn their back on her.
Anna Karenina (Part II) DVRU 807 B Aleksandr Zarkhi:  Russian. (English Subtitles) 77 Mins. The melodrama centers around a tragic story of love and infidelity, the destiny of a woman who irrevocably changes her life for the sake of a passion. Anna Karenina finds it impossible to renounce her feelings for the loved one. She rejects the morals of society and tries to defend her right to love. Her husband bars Anna from her son, her acquaintances turn their back on her.
Autumn Marathon VRU 321 Georgi Daneliya: Russian (English Subtitles) 94 Mins. Andrey Pavlovich Buzykin, who makes a living by teaching at an institute and translating English literature, is cheating on his wife. Buzykin's main problem is that he's a kind man with a weak character. The lies he is telling his wife all the time are inconvincing, but he never has the courage to tell her the truth. His lover, Alla, is aware of his family life, but gets offended when, for example, he cannot meet her so that he doesn't come home late, or when he doesn't want to go home in a new jacket she gives him to avoid having to explain to his wife. Alla and Nina, Andrei's wife, both leave him, forgive him, and return to him at the same time, and Andrei continues with this kind of life, full of suffering and deceit. Finally, both women are so fed up with his lies that they don't believe him even when he is telling the truth...
Baltazar's Feasts / The Night with Stalin
DVRU 810 Yury Kara: Russian (English Subtitles) 83 Mins. The film is based on one a chapters from Fazil Iskander’s epic <<Sandro from the Village of Chegem>>. It tells a story about one feast of Josef Stalin and his closest entourage. Sandro from the village of Chegen appeared as an Abkhaz folk dancing performer at this feast. This routine performance turned into a nightmare after the returned home as the purges of artists who attended the feast were about to being.
Black & White VENG 343
Boris Frumin: English. 96 Mins. Black & White is the story of Lisa, a young Soviet emigré studying medicine in Manhattan, Roy, an African American building superintendent on New York's Lower Eastside, and the bond that they form from living on the edges of Manhattan. Filled with an assortment of fringe artists, disenfranchised immigrants, diamond dealers and sexual surrogates, the film is ultimately about breaking down the barriers between people. Directed by Russian emigré filmmaker Boris Frumin (Errors of Youth, Viva Castro!), Black and White is a poignant and riveting story of love and the quest for freedom and identity.
Black Ice / Gololiod DVRU 809 Mikhail Brashinsky: Russian ( English Subtitles) 70 Mins. Surrealistic melodrama. Sergey Ivanov is a handsome, self confident, gay. Victoria Tolstoganova leaves somebody all the time. He thinks that he knows everything about himself. She joins unequal battle with an opponent. He wants to be left alone. They haven't met yet and nobody knows what this meeting can lead to. WARNING: This film contains some explicit scenes of homosexual nature
Bless the Woman / Blagoslovite DVRU 815 Stanislav Govorukhin: Russian. 114 Mins. This love drama is about the fate of a young woman, who maintains her love for a not-so-young officer through harsh years of war. Before making a film I always ask myself: what my spectators, those whom I love, would like, what would give them vital forces, what would evoke their kind and noble feelings. This is intuition, therefore I tried to create a film, where my beloved spectators would find everything they need. This film will give them support, will inspire them, will lend wings to them, will cause them shed a tear, - said director Stanislav Govorukhin
Brother VRU 322 Aleksei Balabanov: Russian. 96 mins. In "Brother", Sergei Bodrov Jr. (the son of the director of Prisoner of the Mountains, in which he also stars) plays Danila, a pale young man from the provinces returning home from his military service. He brings nothing with him but an instinctive skill for violence--which he demonstrates when he wanders through a movie set and casually beats up the goons who havebeen sent to run him off. Heading for St. Petersburg, Danila hooks up with his admired older brother Viktor, now a highly paid hit man. When Viktor farms out a job to Danila, and the younger brother proves to be the greater talent. He goes into business for himself, acquiring new clothes and a new mistress. But with new success comes new enemies; Danila learns to watch his back.
Burnt By the Sun VRU 308
Nikita Mikhalkov: Russian (English subtitles) 134 mins. 1995. Nikita Mikhalkov directs and stars as Colonel Serguei Kotov, a hero of the Revolution who is spending the summer in the country with his young daughter (Mikhalkov's real-life daughter), his wife and her eccentric family. But when his wife childhood love suddenly appears, the idyllic summer day takes a surprising turn. A Lyrical film filled with beauty and warmth, Burn By The Sun is also an indelible account of a man dedicated to family and fatherland, cruelly destroyed by political paranoia. 'Visually sumptuous, intellectually stimulating, extraordinarily acted, the movie will burn itself into your memory forever.'
Check-up on the Roads VRU 319 Aleksei German:Russian 92 mins. A partisan detachment commanded by lieutenant Ivan Lokotkov, a former countryside militiaman, operates in one of the north-west areas of Russia occupied by fascists. Partisans are starving, the villages around are destroyed. The commander decides to seize a fascist trainload of food at the railway junction every meter of which is being guarded. Lazarev, a former policeman, who collaborated with fascists but began to feel strong remorse promised to carry out the operation. But can he be trusted? The film with the original title  Happy New Year  Operation   was shelved immediately after shooting and opened up for the public show in 1985.
Circus VRU 316 Grigoriy Alexandrov. Russian 89 mins.  A Soviet musical comedy about an American circus artist who has a black baby; having suffered from racism in the United States, she discovers that the only way and place she can find happiness is among the Soviet people. Happy citizens of all nationalities -- in a film made at the beginning of the Great Purge period.  A somewhat silly film with a strong message, although twisted when considering historical context. Probably the most famous of the Stalinist musical comedies.
The Court of Honour
VRU 315 Abraham Room. Russian 100 mins. Losev, a Soviet scientist, being in America in scientific mission, neglected the interests of his native land and published in the USA an unfinished work of his collegues, considering it  as <>. But his false patriotism was exposed and punished...Donated by: Prof. Emil Draitser
The Cranes Are Flying VRU 310
Mikhail Kalatozov Russian with English subtitles. 95 mins. 1996. A film that marked a radical opening for Soviet cinema; the lighthearted, romantic, lyrical story of a beautiful young girl (Tatiana Samoliova) caught up in the horrors of war. When her fiancé (Alexei Batalov) goes off to war, she marries a man whom she does not love and who raped her, is evacuated to Siberia, and after the war, learns of her fiancé's death. But she refuses to believe it and waits for his return. A great international success which won the Gran Prix at Cannes.
Diamond Arm
DVRU 803
(THE) Leonid Gaiday Russian (English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Dutch, Portuguese, Japanese, Hebrew, Swedish, Chinese & Arabic Subtitles) 100 mins. 1968. The plot of this eccentric comedy is based on a newspaper article, found by script co-writer Yakov Kostyukovsky, about the arrest on the Italian border of a criminal who had hidden "gold and diamonds" in the plaster cast. The movie became the absolute box-office leader of 1969 in the Soviet Union. The thrilling adventures of Semyon Gorbunkov, a modest economist, accompanied by a swindler named Count, have captivated several generations of moviegoers.
East/West (Est/Ouest)
DVRU 801
Réges Warnier. French/Russian (English subtitles) 125 mins. 1993. From the director of Academy Award -winning Indochine comes another highly acclaimed film. Academy Award -nominated (1999) for Best Foreign Language film, EAST/WEST (EST/OUEST) is a wonderfully imagined film that follows the plight of a young couple and their child as they choose to go back to the Soviet Union in 1946. At the end of the war, Stalin invited Russians who fled the country to return. The talented young doctor Alexei Golovine (Oleg Menchikov), accompanied by his French bride the beautiful Marie (Sandrine Bonnaire) and their son, optimistically returns to the Soviet Union. Their arrival is a rude one. Interrogations are followed by the grim reality of post-war Soviet Union: shared apartments, suspicious neighbors and lack of privacy. Marie soon starts to rebel against the circumstances, but her husband finds that his talents are needed and appreciated by the authorities, so he starts to get ahead. Marie meets up with a touring French actress (Catherine Deneuve), and soon faces a terrifying choice: to leave her husband and child for freedom, or stay and confront a grim future.
The Errors of Youth VRU 311
Boris Frumin Russian w/ English subtitles 87 mins. The Errors of Youth was banned in 1979 because it was found to be too close to 'real' life in the former Soviet Union. Its director, Boris Frumin, emigrated to the U.S.A., leaving the unfinished The Errors of Youth behind. In a historic gesture, he was invited back to Leningrad 11 years later and asked to complete the film. The Errors of Youth is a complex and affecting portrait of a young man adrift in a society of diminished expectations and compromise. Dmitri Gurianov (Stanislav Zhdanko) is a Red Army conscript stationed at a Black Sea resort. Leaving behind the humiliations of army life, he chooses a high paying construction job in Siberia. He starts a love affair with a beautiful, enigmatic co-worker, but they split over the question of parenthood. Dmitri moves to Leningrad and drifts into a life among black marketeers and a marriage of expediency. The Errors of Youth is a remarkable, moving portrait of an entire generation - riveting and profound.
Father Frost DVRU 805 Alexander Row. Russian (English subtitles) 110 mins. This musical, beautiful costumed film is based on popular Russian fairy tales. Once upon a time there lived a nice, sweet girl, Nastenka. She lived with her wicked stepmother who made poor Nastenka work very hard. In the same land there lived a fine young fellow, Ivan, who fell in love with Nastenka, but he bragged too much and was turned into a bear. The nasty stepmother wanted her own ugly daughter, Marfoushka, to marry a rich man and decided to send beautiful Nastenka to the winter forest for her to freeze.
Freeze, Die Come to Life
VRU 304
Vitaly Kanevski: Russian (English subtitles) 105 mins.1989.  A brilliant Soviet film about the brutal conditions of life in and around Stalinist labor  camps as seen through the eyes of two remarkable children. This first feature by Vitaly Kanevski, who also wrote the screenplay and co-produced the film, is based on some of his own experiences during the eight years he spent growing up outside such a camp. With Pavel Nazarov, Dinara Drukarova, Yelena Popova. Awarded the Camera d'Or  for the Best Film at Cannes.
The Inspector General VRU 301
Vladimir Petrov: Russian (English subtitles) 130 mins. 1954. Gogol's famous play, performed by members of the Moscow Art Theatre, filmed by Vladimir Petrov. Gogol's work is a satire of provincial corruption in Czarist Russia. An entire town mistakes an illiterate worker for the Czar's Inspector General, and the corrupt officials panic as they believe the man has come to check up on them.
The Irony of Fate
DVRU 806 Eldar Ryazanov. RUSSIAN (ENG, FRE, SPA, & GER SUBTITLES) 185 MINS. This is lyrical comedy about four friends going to the sauna, as their annual tradition was, and so much " heat" that the character of Andrey Myagkov ended up at the same apartment in the same street with the same furniture,but in Leningrad, where he unexpectedly interferes with the wife of its lady-owner
The Lady with the Dog
DVRU 822 Iosif Heifitz. Russian (English Subtitles) B&W 89 mins 1960. A faithful adaptation from the short story by Chekhov, THE LADY WITH THE DOG is a forgotten masterpiece of the Soviet cinema. Told with little dialogue and minimal action, this romantic drama is a bittersweet portrait of a doomed love affair between Dmitry, a bank official, and Anna, a well-to-do young woman. The two fall in love while on vacation in Yalta, but because each is already married they can only one another once a year.
The Lady with the Dog VRU 300 Iosif Heifitz. Russian (English Subtitles) B&W 89 mins 1960. A faithful adaptation from the short story by Chekhov, THE LADY WITH THE DOG is a forgotten masterpiece of the Soviet cinema. Told with little dialogue and minimal action, this romantic drama is a bittersweet portrait of a doomed love affair between Dmitry, a bank official, and Anna, a well-to-do young woman. The two fall in love while on vacation in Yalta, but because each is already married they can only one another once a year.
Magnetic Storms (Magnitniye Buri) DVRU 812 Vadim Addrashitov.  Russian (English Subtitles) 93 mins. A modern provincial city with a big metallurgical factory. Authorities divide property in the offices; workers fight each other in the workshops. Valera is in the middle of the events. Each fight brings a loss: he loses the apartment, then his close friend, and at the last the wife abandons him… During the one of the terrible episodes he was rescued by Marina. At the end when the collision with owners was successfully settled Valera finds new love and tries to start a new life…
The Man with the Movie Camera VRU 313 DZIGA VERTOV. RUSSIAN. This playful film is at once a documentary of the day on the life of the Soviet Union., a document of the filming of said documentary, and a depiction of an audience watching the film. Even the editing of the film was documented. We often see the cameraman who is purportedly making the film, but we rarely, if ever, see the footage he seems to be in the act of shooting.
Meeting on the Elbe VRU 320 Grigoriy Alexandrov.  Russian 98 mins. In the first months after World War II, Russian and American forces are stationed in a fictional Altenstadt in Germany. In the Soviet part German workers under Soviet guidance reconstruct the industry, in the American part of the city night clubs and casinos flourish, while generals and capitalists are obsessively hunting for the optical patents of a scholar, sympathetic  towards the Soviets, who is elected a major of the city. When the patents are stolem , the mayor believes that his Soviet friend, the commandant, betrayed him and leaves for the American party of the city. Yet as the misunderstanding becomes obvious, he returns and resumes his duties. A parallel line of the narrative introduces an American female spy, trying to smuggle a Nazi war criminal out to America.
Mirror VRU 317 Andrei Tarkovsky. Russian 102  mins. Tarkovsky's looking glass is not merely cracked but shattered, and we see the jagged, jumbled reflections of its shards, images of the director's childhood mixed with fragments of his adult life--a child's wartime exile, a mother's experience with political terror, the breakup of a marriage, life in a country home--all intermingled with slow motion dream sequences and stark newsreel. An essential film whose puzzles provide the key to this intense filmmaker's other works.
Mom Got Married (Mama Visla Zamuzh) DVRU 817 Vitaly Melnikov. Russian (English Subtitles) 85 mins. Zina separated from her son Borka’s father ages ago and pretty much brought him up by herself. Now, the son has grown into a man –yet another man, Viktor, is also entering Zina’s life. How will the son respond to the possibility of new stepfather?
Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears DVRU 823 Vladimir Menshov. Russian (English Subtitles) 150 Mins. MOSCOW DOES NOT BELIEVE IN TEARS is Vladimir Menshov"s enchanting drama of three women struggling to establish themselves in Russia's huge and often impersonal capital city. Liudmilla, Katerina and Antonina seem to have little in common, but are bound by a deep friendship and the shared dream that in Moscow they will somehow find happiness. Moscow follows their resourceful pursuit of professional and domestic bliss in 1958, then skips forward twenty years to see just how many of their dreams have come true.


Moscow Parade VRU 305 Ivan Dijkhovichny: Russian ( English Subtitles) 103 mins.1993.  Ute Lemper stars in this, the first post-Sovjet film about the Stalin Era. In 1939, she is a young aristocrat married to a hateful chief of the secret police. His forces have murdered her family but she takes advantage of her marriage to enjoy all the luxuries her present life style allows. When she meets a mysterious man and learns of his plans to paint a horse black, her life is thrown in a whirlwind of change.
Moving DVRU 818 Alexandre Petrov.  Russian 104 mins. Sacha is a journalist.  He is running after scandalous relationships that not only are giving him money but very often troubles.  Gouriev is also chasing women, but the one he would really want to seduce is resisting him and his wife is always waiting for him alone in their house.  By chance, Gouriev learns that one of his old friends, recently coming from a trip is about to run into serious troubles because of his latest affair.  Gouriev is trying to avoid the drama, but it is already too late. When one cannot stop himself, the only way out is to run faster, so fast that you only have one chance to catch yourself.
The Overcoat VRU 302 Alexei Batalov: Russian (English subtitles) 73 min.1959.  Roland Bykov delivers a moving performance as the poor degraded clerk in 18th century Russia in this version of Nikolai Gogol's famous short story. Expressionistic in tone, but with a strong dose of realism- it is a commendable adaption of the story.
Russian Dolls DVFR 825 Cédric Klapisch.  French (English Subtitles) 129 mins. Xavier is back! We find him five years after L'AUBERGE ESPAGNOLE- he is now thirty years old. An aspiring novelist, his greatest achievement is a co-credit on an over-the-top TV soap, and his romantic life is equally disappointing. He has one meaningless romantic encounter after another and lines up a confusing series of drops related to writing - he's a little messed up…the chance meeting could be the answer to both his career and love life, but Xavier's lack of direction (and willpower) threatens to turn his good fortune into ultimate heartbreak.
The Russian Issue
VRU 318 Mikhail Romm. Russian 91 mins. Screen version of the play of the same name by K. Simonov. USA. The year of 1946. Garry Smith, a gifted American journalist, was to write a critical book about Russia ordered by an editor of prestigious newspaper for huge royalty. For the prepayment he and his fiancée Jessy purchase a house, furnishings and a car by installments. But Smith lives Russia and writes about it truthfully and sincerely. It turns into a drama for him loses his job, property and the woman he loves. But Garry Smith is not broken, he travels around America and tells the truth about USSR.
The Sea Gull VRU 303
Alexei Batalov: Russian (English subtitles) 99 mins.1971. A sensitive exquisitely acted version of Checkov's great play, set in provincial Russia, a penetrating study of the languid melancholia of the residents of an isolated country estate.  With Alla Demidova, Lyudmila Saveleyva, Yuri Yakovlev.
Secret Mission VRU 323 Mikhail Romm. Russian 84 mins. January if 1945. Senator Allen and Garvy from Strategic Information Bureau come to Himmler from America. They make a plan to capture Europe and get their hands on the patents of German industrial enterprises. Our intelligence officers Marta and Dementev obtain necessary information and frustrate the plot.
Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors
VRU 307
Sergei Parajanov: Ukrainian ( English subtitles) 99 mins.1984. Based on a Georgian legend, the first feature completed by Sergei Paradjanov after being released from prison. The tale hangs on the self sacrifice of a young man who agrees to be bricked up in a fortress wall in order to make it impregnable against invaders. Paradjanov divides his film into a series of tableaux, once again using minimal dialog and searing imagery in a film of surreal almost hypnotic power.
Siberiade VRU 314 A&B ANDREI MIKHALKOV-KONCHALOVSKY. Russian (English subtitles) 206 mins. The story about a very small god-forgotten village in Siberia reflects the history of Russia from the beginning of the century till early 80s. Three generations try to find the land of happiness and to give it to the people. One builds the road through taiga to the star over horizon, the second 'build communism' and the third searches for oil. The oil is found but the destruction of the old cemetery and everything the people of the village cared for followed to get the 'black treasure' of Siberia.
Strike VRU 324 Sergei Eisenstein. Russian (English Subtitles);B&W 94 minutes. Sergei Eisenstein's Strike (Stachka) is a dazzling and inventive film that blends political metaphor with radical technique as it dramatizes the genesis and violent consequences of a workers' revolt. A cinematic endeavor that applies some of the tactics of the avant-garde theatre group Proletkult, Strike combines radical theatrical conceits with constructivist graphics and filmic experiments to achieve its idealistic aim. Yet STRIKE is anything but a cold experiment in film structure.
The Stroll (Progulka) DVRU 811 Alexei Uchitel. Russian (English Subtitles) 90 mins. A modern romantic story, which happened to three young men in the center of St. Petersburg. They found a young cute girl in the street. But she turns out to be quite different. Having made the main character fall in love with her, she knows foul intentions to his best friend. It takes only an hour and a half…
Viva Castro! VRU 312
Boris Frumin. Russian w/ English subtitles 82 mins. One of the best Russian films of the 1990's, Viva Castro! is set in a small Russian town in 1965. 'At this time Fidel Castro was as important for the Russian people as Elvis Presley was for the Americans,' says the director, Boris Frumin, who returned to Russia after 16 years of exile in America to make this film. Young Kolya is in love with his singing teacher; but his life isn't easy. His father skips town after stealing some coins from a museum and his mother is sent to a labor camp as punishment. When the father returns a year later, Kolya becomes involved with the pretty young woman hired to nurse him. Viva Castro! is a remarkable coming-of-age story which 'shows real life in all its inexplicable mixture of farce and tragedy, cruelty, comedy and romance.'
Viy (Spirit of Evil) DVRU 804 Georgi Kropachyov. Russian (English & French Subtitles). 78 mins. 2000.This very eerie and stylish Russian horror film went largely unseen for decades. With this video release it should earn a loyal following. Based on a story by Nikolai Gogol, the movie follows a young theology student whose faith is tested when he meets the devil's emissary, "..stunning, with a rich color palette worthy of Mario Bava.. Moments of pure cinema here raise the hairs on the back of your neck" (R.L. Strong, Cornucopia of Film). Alexander Ptushko was responsible for the eye-catching visual effects.
The Wedding
DVRU 819 Pavel Lungin. Russian (English Subtitles) 114 mins. The beautiful Tanya returns to her small mining town after supposedly working as a model in Moscow. She decides to marry her shy school sweetheart Mishka, who works in the mine. The miners finally receive some pay, but Mishka still ends up with no money to buy his bride a gift. Mishka’s poor working-class family all help to put on a fine wedding with copious amounts of vodka even though they are suspicious of Tanya’s occupation in Moscow, and of her connection with her Mafia ex-boyfriend Borodin.
White Sun of the Desert
Placeholder (150px)
DVRU 802
Placeholder (85px)
(THE) Vladimir Motyl Russian (English, French & Arabic Subtitles) 85 mins. 1969 This "Middle-Eastern", or rather a Central-Asian action film about the Red Army fighting the counter-revolutionary robber bands has become not only a cult movie, but also one of the favorites for several generations of viewers. With Russian cosmonauts, it is a tradition to view this film before going to outer space. The film's success paved the way for a genre of national "Eastern". A demobbed soldier, Fyodor Sukhov, is making his way through the desert to his home village. The band of the brutal Abdulla intended to kill his women rather than let them go free. Sukhov's mate, a young soldier Petrukha, dies at the hand of Abdulla.
Document Actions
Chanin Language Center website feedback:
West Building Room 209
(212) 772-5700 | email us
695 Park Ave
NY, NY 10065