All movies collected various awards from Russian, European, Asian and American festivals and film academies (some movies – more than 70 awards), but the main award for these Russian movies is the appreciation of the viewers.
Franz + Polina (2006)
In 1943in a remote Belarusian village a SS unitstops. Residents are scared; they heard rumors that the neighboring villages were burnt together with the people. But for a while the SS do not behave as killersbut as peaceful assistants…
It’s really a movie about the war, but there are no battle scenes. It is about everyday life and the death walking around, which shows the face of the war much better than battle scenes. And here, between two hearts tender love comes to life that just changes everything.
Siberia. Monamur (2011)
Cruelty, power, beauty and … mercy.
Famous and scary Siberia. Real, the one that is beyond the urban life. Three realistic stories told by the main characters in the movie, the destinies of whom suddenly intertwined.
If you have any stereotypes about life in Siberia – you will find all of them in the movie. Tough and at times cruel storyline that is unfolding against the backdrop of endless beauty of the harsh Siberian nature. It is unlikely that you will smile at least once during the movie, but the ending of the movie is unexpectedly upbeat and life-affirming.
I Stay (2006)
Do the important things in your life today.
Does life end after death? It turns out that it doesn’t and everyone gets to a mysterious valley where life goes on, or not?
Stories and fates, irony and sadness, understanding how important is everything that you have, how important it is to live. Smart and satirical movie after watching which you are left with a long pleasant aftertaste, and it makes you reflect on your own life.
P.S. This movie was the last movie of the Russian actor Andrei Krasko, who played one of the main characters.
Lena, a successful woman, at one point loses everything: a loved one, her career … She needed to change something, and she moved to another city, and chose the first available job. She gets into lots of interesting and comical situations. Then one day Lena meets a six-year girl Kuka.
An amazing and very moving film about kindness and courage, love and higher justice. When something that was supposed to happen – happens.
The Italian (2005)
Go towards your happiness no matter what.
An Italian family wants to adopt an orphan Vanya Solntsev(the last name “Solntsev” comes from the Russian word for “sun”). The adoption process is mediated by a cynical “madame,” for whom the adoption is just a way to make money. Vanya has a chance to change his unfortunate orphanage life to a life in a nice family. Vanya loves and finds excuses for his mother, whom he had never seen. And he decides to find his real mother…
Heavy atmosphere of hopelessness in an orphanage. Those whose job it is to protect, only think about how to make money using children. One of the kids becomes lucky. But it turns out that a prosperous life for him is not the most important thing.
This is a hard movie to watch, but the ending is very good. It makes you feel warm and hopeful, which is rare for the latest creations of modern cinema. This movie is the territory of real kindness.
P.S. The movie features real children from an orphanage, and it was filmed in a real orphanage.
What Men Talk about (2010)
Really, what do they talk about?
Four friends are going to Odessa to a concert through Kiev. The main thing in the movie is the interaction of male friends on the road. No. Not true. The main thing in the movie is very realistic, ironic, brilliant communication between four Russian men, experienced in life, but still full of energy and drive.
What do Russian men talk about? About women, relationships, art, and aluminum forks…
The actors (the famous “Quartet-I”) create a feeling that this is not a movie. It feels as if the viewer is just going along with them and is part of their group. It’s a light and funny movie.
P.S. There are cameo appearances in the movie by the Russian pop singer Zhanna Friske, rock musicians Alex Kortnev (group “Accident”) and Andrei Makarevich (group “The Time Machine”), group “B-2”, the actor Oleg Menshikov and a sports newscaster Vasily Utkin.
P.P.S. If you are in your 40s (plus or minus ten years), then you simply must watch this movie.
P.P.P.S.This movie is better suited for men, so women meanwhile can go around their business, after all women have their own secrets
Celestial Court (2012)
Do you think you judge? It is you who is being judged!
Andrey and Venyamin are friends, but at work –they are enemies. One is a lawyer and the other –a prosecutor. What’s new in this story? New is that the trials take place in the afterlife, and the verdict of the judges determines whether the soul goes to Heaven or Hell.
And all of this is seasoned with a hot mixture of love (which goes beyond the earthly life), revenge and forgiveness. And all of it, like in real life, is not black and white, but very complex…
The movie talks about life and death not just in the language of grotesque, but with humor. Beautifully and fascinatingly. With kindness about the eternal. And of human.
The Banishment (2007)
This is a difficult story about a man and a woman.
Normal and average family. The couple and two children. Normal and happy life. Suddenly, the wife tells her husband that she is pregnant. And it’s not his. Strain.
What’s next, what to do? The world is completely destroyed. And the husband is not the same man that he was. Now he is struggling to find a solution, he is a man searching for the meaning of life. Just listen to his questions: “What to do with Vera? Kill her? Kick her out? Forgive?.. “And he was given the answer.
The meaning of the movie is often transmitted not with dialogues, but using signs and symbols. Black and white. The light and the dark side of a man. Bright and monotonous. Conversation and silence. Question and an answer in the form of another question.
P.S. Konstantin Lavronenko is the only Russian actor who received the prestigious award of the Cannes Film Festival for Best Actor. Of course Russian movies were many times awarded prizes at the Cannes, Venice, Berlin film festivals, Oscars and other European, American and Asian film awards.
P.P.S. Maria Bonnevie is the second half of the acting duo. Maria is from Sweden, and she had to learn the lines for her role in Russian.
P.P.P.S.The location of the movie is made impersonal, since we are talking about universal human values and problems.
P.P.P.P.S. In this article we were talking about movies, not the actors or directors. But in this case we feel it is necessary to mention the director –it is the legendary Andrei Zvyagintsev. “Elevated movie making”of the director according to movie critics is highly appreciated by the audience.
Working on this list, we realized that many outstanding movies did not make it. But we are ready to continue. Do you think we should?
To discover Russia with Alexey Gureev