Time Out says

A disappointing hostage drama, dealing with the topical 'second' Chechen conflict, from the talented and controversial Balabanov, constructed in flashback from the debriefing of a Russian army recruit (the charismatic Chadov). An English theatre actress and a veteran Russian soldier are holed up in a well by Chechen fighters, who release the actress's boyfriend and the recruit to obtain a £2m ransom. The director interjects real war footage to enhance the film's bloody vérité atmosphere, but at heart it's more a film about the abused honour, courage and dignity of the ordinary Russian Ivan than an exploration of war itself, with the ridiculous Englishman (Kelly) clearly representing the director's views on the callous role of outside 'Western' media.

By: WH


Release details

115 mins

Cast and crew

Alexei Balabanov
Alexei Balabanov
Alexei Chadov
Ian Kelly
Sergei Bodrov Jr
Ingeborga Darkunaite
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