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Russia


The Miracle Maker - The Story of Jesus

The Miracle Maker - The Story of Jesus Lowest new price: $7.99
Lowest used price: $2.07
List price: $9.98
Brand: Lions Gate

Voices of Ralph Fiennes, William Hurt, Miranda Richardson. A family searching for help for their sickly daughter cross paths with the one man who can help them: a carpenter named Jesus. This inspiring tale of Jesus Christ features 3-D computer animation the whole family will love! 2000/color/87 min/NR.

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War and Peace

War and Peace List price: $39.99
Brand: BONDARCHUK,SERGEI

Tolstoy's epic masterpiece paints a portrait of Russia and her people, caught up in the irresistible tides of history during the Napoleonic Era.

Like Tolstoy's novel, this epic-length War and Peace is rough going, but worth the effort. Winner of the 1969 Academy Award® for Best Foreign Language Film and widely considered the most faithful adaptation of Tolstoy's classic, Sergei Bondarchuk's massive Soviet-Italian coproduction was seven years in the making, at a record-setting cost of $100 million. Bondarchuk himself plays the central role of Pierre Bezukhov, buffeted by fate during Russia's tumultuous Napoleonic Wars, serving as pawn and philosopher through some of the most astonishing set pieces ever filmed. Bondarchuk is a problematic director: interior monologues provide awkward counterpoint to intimate dramas, weaving together the many classes and characters whose lives are permanently affected by war. Infusions of '60s-styled imagery clash with the film's period detail; it's an anomalous experiment that doesn't really work. Undeniably, however, the epic battle scenes remain breathtakingly unique; to experience the sheer scale of this film is to realize that such cinematic extravagance will never be seen again. --Jeff Shannon

Features:

  • Factory sealed DVD

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The Kozintsev Collection: Hamlet/King Lear

The Kozintsev Collection: Hamlet/King Lear Lowest new price: $27.99
List price: $39.95
Brand: FACETS VIDEO

Any lover of Shakespeare knows the work of Grigori Kozintsev, who was lauded at the end of his career for his stunning interpretations of HAMLET AND KING LEAR.
Considered among the best versions of these Shakespearean favorites, Kozintsev s versions are spare, haunting interpretations based on translations by novelist Boris Pasternak. The malevolence afoot in the days of yore is magnificently captured by the foreboding black and white cinematography and the dark, dramatic scores of composer Dmitri Shostakovich for each film.

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Mongol: The Rise of Genghis Khan

Mongol: The Rise of Genghis Khan Lowest new price: $5.77
Lowest used price: $1.49
List price: $13.69
Brand: New Line Home Video
Model: 4314376

MONGOL (WS)

Award-winning Russian filmmaker Sergei Bodrov illuminates the life and legend of Genghis Khan in his stunning historical epic, MONGOL. Based on leading scholarly accounts, MONGOL delves into the dramatic and harrowing early years of the ruler who was born as Temudgin in 1162. As it follows Temudgin from his perilous childhood to the battle that sealed his destiny, the film paints a multidimensional portrait of the future conqueror, revealing him not as the evil brute of hoary stereotype, but as an inspiring, fearless and visionary leader. MONGOL shows us the making of an extraordinary man, and the foundation on which so much of his greatness rested: his relationship with his wife, Borte, his lifelong love and most trusted advisor.

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First entry in a proposed trilogy, Mongol vividly captures the beauty and brutality of ancient Mongolia. Beginning in 1172 and ending in 1206, Sergei Bodrov's Oscar-nominated epic presents future conqueror Ghengis Khan as more lover--and fighter--than diplomat. Against his father Esegui's wishes, nine-year-old Temudjin chooses his own bride, whom he marries in the years to come. Hopes for the future, however, turns to thoughts of vengeance when the clan forsakes the boy upon Esegui's death. While Temudjin (now played by Zatoichi’s Tadanobu Asano, a quietly commanding presence) makes his way in a cruel world, turncoat Targutai (Amadu Mamadakov) becomes the new khan. When an opposing clan kidnaps Temudjin’s wife, Börte (Khulan Chuluun), he eventually retrieves her, but betrays blood brother Jamukha (Sun Honglei, Seven Swords) in the process, leading to further enslavement and more Kurasawa-style slicing and dicing. Throughout his travails, Temudjin comes to believe that Mongols must unite to share the same language, culture, and set of values. Sustained by his faith in the god Tengri and the devotion of Börte, Temudjin sets out to wrest control of Mongolia from Jamukha and his women and children-killing hordes. Except for an over-reliance on CGI during the climactic battle sequence, Mongol equals the scope and grandeur of historical predecessors, like Braveheart and Hero. If much of the cast is Chinese and Japanese, Bodrov, who directed Prisoner of the Mountains, conjures up authenticity through detailed costumes, Mongolian dialogue, and remote Central Asian locations. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

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  • Shrink-wrapped

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Ballad of a Soldier (The Criterion Collection)

Ballad of a Soldier (The Criterion Collection) Lowest new price: $18.79
Lowest used price: $14.98
List price: $22.99
Brand: IVASHOV,VLADIMIR
Model: 2225038

Russian soldier Alyosha Skvortsov is granted a visit with his mother after he singlehandedly fends off two enemy tanks. As he journeys home, Alyosha encounters the devastation of his war-torn country, witnesses glimmers of hope among the people, and falls in love. With its poetic visual imagery, Grigori Chukhrai's Ballad of a Soldier is an unconventional meditation on the effects of war, and a milestone in Russian cinema.

Grigory Chukhraj's poetic odyssey of an accidental hero on a six-day pass is a sentimental journey through the ideals of the Soviet state in World War II. Vladimir Ivashov is the fresh-faced signalman whose trip from the Russian front to visit his white-haired mother becomes a series of detours as he stops to help the loyal comrades, fellow soldiers, and salt-of-the-earth civilians (as well as a few shirkers and scoundrels) he meets along the way. On a transport train he even falls in love with a pretty young stowaway, a feisty blond girl-next-door on her way to visit a wounded boyfriend. Delicately photographed and gently paced, this deliriously romantic road movie is undeniably Soviet in its celebration of patriotism and collectivism, but Chukhraj transcends politics with delightfully vivid characters and a deft mix of comedy, melodrama, and romance. --Sean Axmaker

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  • Shrink-wrapped

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Burnt by the Sun

Burnt by the Sun Lowest new price: $16.25
Lowest used price: $5.31
List price: $14.99

Winner of the Academy Award(r) for Best Foreign film and the Cannes Grand Jury Prize, BURNT BY THE SUN is the unforgettable story of a Soviet hero whose happy family is suddenly targeted by Stalin's secret police. Nikita Mikhalkov directs and stars as Colonel Serguei Kotov, a hero of the Revolution who is spending the summer in the country with his young daughter (Mikhalkov's real-life duaghter), his wife and her eccentric family. But when his wife's childhood love suddenly appears, the idyllic summer day takes a surprising turn. A lyrical film filled with beauty and warmth, BURNT BY THE SUN isalso an indelible account of a man dedicated to family and fatherland, cruelly destroyed by political paranoia.

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The Rape of Europa

The Rape of Europa Lowest new price: $6.20
Lowest used price: $2.32
List price: $13.85
Brand: Menemsha Films
Model: 4193674

The Rape of Europa tells the epic story of the systematic theft, deliberate destruction and miraculous survival of Europe's art treasures during the Third Reich and World War II. Joan Allen narrates this breathtaking chronicle about the battle over the very survival of centuries of Western culture.

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  • Shrink-wrapped

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Sauna

Sauna Lowest new price: $13.76
Lowest used price: $6.48
List price: $19.98
Brand: MPI Home Video
Model: 5821673

A chilling horror film, SAUNA explores the space between Christianity and paganism. The year 1595- a long and brutal war is finally over. Brothers Knut and Erik- who are part of a commission marking the border between Finland and Russia- commit a terrible sin as they leave a young girl to die a horrible death. As the commission crosses the uncharted swamp, the girl returns to haunt them. Weary men find solace from the nameless village and find a sauna- the sauna where all sins are washed away. Seeking forgiveness the brothers step in…

Features:

  • SAUNA (DVD MOVIE)

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Three Soviet Classics (Earth / The End of St. Petersburg / Chess Fever)

Three Soviet Classics (Earth / The End of St. Petersburg / Chess Fever) Lowest new price: $12.80
Lowest used price: $12.54
List price: $29.98
Brand: Kino International
Model: 2254771

One of the undisputed masterpieces of the cinema, no single viewing of Earth will ever reveal all of its poetic brilliance. The third in a triptych of films by Ukrainian director Alexander Dovzheko (after Zvenigora in 1927 and Arsenal in 1928), Earth is strikingly simple in plot. On the eve of collectivization in the Ukraine, an old farmer dies peacefully in bed. His grandson Vasil has a new vision: the village council will buy a tractor to be shared among the farmers. Struggling against the superstition, rich landowners and nature itself, Vasil is ultimately the victim of a tragic murder, but the dawn brings forth a new life and the promise of prosperity to the poor village. The story itself is secondary to the beautifully stunning images that Dovzhenko creates. His love for the Ukrainian people and land intoxicates the viewer with the sensual splendors that fill the screen. Assigned to make a film commemorating the 10th anniversary of the 1917 Revolution, Vsevolod Pudovkin crafted an intensely dramatic and personal dramatization of those earth-shaking events. The End of St. Petersburg opens on a farm where a peasant must stay in the field and plow as his wife dies in childbirth. Trudging to the city to seek work, he is forced into scab labor. He tragically realizes the consequences of his mistake and violently attacks his employer. After jail, he is forced to join the army. World War I, in the best depiction yet of the horrors of battle, destroys all in its path as the bourgeois speculators grow rich. But the revolution frees St. Petersburg from the brutal yoke of the rich and there is born a new hope for the future. The New York Times remarked that "one feels sometimes as though this film were a remarkable newsreel of the Russian Revolution." Also featured on this DVD is Chess Fever a Keaton-esque comedy in which a young man's passion for the game threatens to wreck his marriage.

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  • Factory sealed DVD

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Father and Son

Father and Son Lowest new price: $31.99
Lowest used price: $11.99
List price: $19.95
Brand: UNIVERSAL MUSIC VIDEO DIST.

From the Director of Russian Ark and Mother and Son, Alexander Sokurov, comes Father and Son. Following in the footsteps of his beloved father, Alexei attends military school. There, he begins dating a young woman, who becomes increasingly jealous of the intense relationship between the father and son.

There's nothing ordinary or everyday in the movie world of Alexander Sokurov, as fans of the Russian director's Mother and Son and Russian Ark are well aware. This film bears no literal relation to Mother and Son, but the sense of depth is similar. Father and Son appears to be about the separation of the fiercely devoted title characters, who look more like brothers. The son is newly in the military, which changes the dynamic in the apartment they share in St. Petersburg (the top-floor flat frequently leads them to the precarious-looking roof). Not a great deal happens, but anything on screen (however obscure) is always imbued with a force that suggests a life lived with more intensity than usual. Sokurov uses a burnished, sepia tone that makes the movie look as though it's already passed into memory. This film has nothing to do with storytelling, and everything to do with poetry. --Robert Horton

Features:

  • Following in the footsteps of his beloved father, Alexei attends military school. There, he begins dating a young woman, who becomes increasingly jealous of the intense relationship between the father and son Format: DVD MOVIE Genre: FOREIGN Rating: NR Age: 720917543529 UPC: 720917543529 Manufacturer No: FLV5435

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