Prisoner of the Mountains (Kavkazskij Plennik, 1996)

US MGM Home Entertainment 2003 DVD edition

Text below written 2018-01-14


A very, VERY good and visually beautiful anti-war movie based on a short story by Leo Tolstoy and a Prize Winner in Cannes, this Russian
and Kazakhstan co-production and with images you will never forget. Haunting cinematography from Pavel Lebeshev and with sensationally
great acting performances from the prisoners of the mountains duo - Sergei Bodrov, Jr. and Oleg Menshikov .... Wow!
But these actors were backed up with fine performances also in the smaller parts, as from Dzhemal Sikharulidze as Abdul, Aleksandr Bureyev
as their "prison" guard Hasan and Susanna Mekhraliyeva as the young girl Dina.

Yes, almost otherwordly scenery in the Caucasian mountains, but it also make you sad when you know that the Caucasian mountains where
the place were the very talented actor and director Sergei Bodrov, Jr. died in an avalanche in 2002 - R.I.P. Bodrov, Jr. 27/12 1971-20/9 2002

Two russian soldiers, the young freshly recruited Vanya Gilin (Sergei Bodrov, Jr.) and the older, veteran Sacha (Oleg Menchikov) is taken
as prisoners after a chechen surprise raid against a russian patrol. The 2 are the only russians surviving the attack, and they are then hold as
prisoners in a small village high-up in the mountains. Their "host" Abdul, an old man, plans to exchange them against his son, hold as a
prisoner/hostage by the russian military.

Shackled by chains we get to see the relationship, the growing friendship, between the soldiers, but also how their prolonged prisonment
make them connect somewhat to their captors, especially young Vanya then, the dumb Hasan with his tongue once cut off by russian soldiers
and the young girl Dina. But they both understand that their situation is very unsecure and that they probably need to escape to survive.

Yes, a powerful and almost ridiculously beautiful drama that underscores the human aspect, the things that unites people, the common things
in life instead of hatred and tired patriotism packaged en masse for world consumption by the Big Shit Factory in the West, Hollywood.
As mentioned already above the acting was phenomenal, from young Bodrov who was sensational in Aleksei Balabanov's 1997 russian Mega
Hit Brat, but also from the GREAT Oleg Menshikov, the actor that single-handedly made Nikita Mikhalkov's Burnt by the Sun trilogy interesting.

anamorphic widescreen 1.85:1, russian audio 2.0 with english subtitles, and with only a theatrical trailer as an extra

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