Two Russian soldiers (one experienced, one a rookie) are ambushed and taken hostage by a Chechen village chieftain who intends to trade them for his son, imprisoned by the Russian authorities. That's about it in terms of plot, with the two soldiers falling out and getting to know each other, trying to work out a means of escape, and coming to some sort of uneasy, suspicious understanding of their captors. Bodrov's clear-eyed, unsentimental, but engrossing film is impressive for many reasons: its genuinely unromanticised sympathy for the Chechens, its awareness of the absurd futility of war, its insistence that despite cultural differences we share a common humanity, the use of landscape, and the marvellous performances (with the director's son terrific as the novice Russian).
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Arif Aliev, Sergei Bodrov, Boris Giller|
Sergei Bodrov Jr