Monday, 2 March 2009

Aleksei Balabanov: War - Война (2002)

Directed by Aleksei Balabanov
Produced by Sergei Selyanov
Written by Aleksei Balabanov
Starring Ian Kelly
Aleksei Chadov
Music by Vyacheslav Butusov
Cinematography Sergei Astakhov
Editing by Marina Lipartiya
Distributed by Intercinema Art Agency
Release date(s) March 14, 2002
Running time 120 minutes
Country Russia
Language Russian

War (Война) is a 2002 Russian film by Aleksei Balabanov about the realities of the Second Chechen War starring Aleksei Chadov and Ian Kelly.

Cult Russian director Balabanov's Voina is likely to have a parallel existence—revered as a tribute to the late actor Sergei Bodrov Jr and despised as a piece of nationalist, warmongering propaganda. Andrew James Horton unravels the film in Kinoeye:

That Aleksei Balabanov's latest film Voina (War, 2002) will have good festival mileage is almost a foregone conclusion. After all, his previous films have all been festival hits, despite questions about the director's increasing nationalism, the film is partially in English, which will aid international exposure, and Voina is a tribute to its one of its supporting actors, the late Sergei Bodrov Jr, who died in an avalanche in the Caucusus on 20 September 2002 at the age of 31.

Barely a month after Bodrov's death, though, and the subject of Balabanov's film, the war in Chechnya, has been thrown into the international limelight by the dramatic hostage-taking drama at a Moscow theatre orchestrated by Chechens demanding an end to the war. With the controversial end to the siege, which ended in nearly 130 hostages being killed by the gas used by special forces to immobilise the captors, many commentators outside of Russia, and a rather smaller number within, have questioned Vladimir Putin's strong-man tactics in dealing with the republic and called for more dialogue to take place. Putin, then, will in some respects welcome Balabanov's film, as it is a plea for uncompromising milatarism in dealing with the Chechen people. ...

Aleksey Chadow won a prize as best actor at Montréal World Film Festival in 2002.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One of the best war speeches ever