Reading Advisory at the Ames Public Library
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Reading Advisory at the Ames Public Library
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Russian Films at Ames Public Library

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A-G | H-R | S-Z | Other DVDs and Videos on Russian Topics

Harvest Time (DVD FOREIGN HAR)  67 min.  2004. 

Working at a collective farm as a tractor operator, Antonina has to support her young son and husband - after the latter returns from the warfront without his legs.

House of Fools (DVD FOREIGN HOU)  108 min.  2002. 

Psychiatric patients become involved in the Chechen War after the staff leave to find a safer hospital. Soldiers overrun the asylum, and a female patient falls in love with a soldier, leaving her boyfriend.

How I Ended This Summer (DVD FOREIGN HOW)  130 min.  2010. 

On a desolate island in the Arctic Circle, two men work at a small meteorological station, taking readings from their radioactive surroundings. One day while Sergei is out, inexperienced Pavel receives terrible news for Sergei from HQ. Intimidated, Pavel can't bring himself to disclose the information. When the truth is finally revealed, the consequences explode against a chilling backdrop of thick fog, sharp rocks, and the merciless Arctic Sea.  The DVD also includes the short (16 min.) film, “First Day of Peace.”

I am Cuba (DVD FOREIGN I)  In Russian and Spanish, with English captions.  141 min.  1964. 

Stories depict the extremes of wealth and poverty, exploitation, and passions that led to the Cuban Revolution.

The Island (DVD FOREIGN ISL)  112 min.  2007. 

An unusual man lives in a northern Russian Orthodox monastery. Visitors believe that the man has the power to heal, exorcise demons and foretell the future. However, he considers himself unworthy because of a sin he committed in his youth. This parable about faith and salvation combines the realities of Russian life with monastic ritual and routine.

The Italian (DVD FOREIGN ITA)  99 min.  2005. 

After discovering his mother is still alive, a six-year-old Russian boy runs away from his orphanage and sets out to find her. Pursued by orphanage staff and the police, Vanya Solntsev now faces the most difficult challenges of his young life in this story inspired by true events.

Lady with the Dog (DVD FOREIGN LAD)  89 min.  1960. 

This forgotten masterpiece of the Soviet cinema is a bittersweet portrait of a doomed love affair between Dmitri, a bank official, and Anna, a well-to-do young woman. Because each is married to someone else, they can see each other only once a year.

Little Vera (DVD FOREIGN LIT)  110 min.  1988. 

This controversial, award-winning Russian movie is about a sullen, sultry teenager with few goals in life who is trying to deal with a brooding boyfriend, an abusive alcoholic father, an ineffectual mother, and the futility of life trapped in her small industrial town.

The Lover (DVD FOREIGN LOV)  96 min.  2002. 

The unexpected death of Dmitry's wife is a shock. But an even bigger shock awaits when he finds a letter to an unnamed lover among her papers.

The Mark of Cain (391.65 DVD MAR)  73 min.  2000. 

This documentary examines the importance and meaning of tattoos in Russian prison society using a series of interviews with inmates, prison officials, and criminologists to illustrate the state of Russian prisons and changes since the breakup of the Soviet Union.

The Mirror (DVD FOREIGN MIR)  106 min.  1974

Tarkovsky's looking glass is not merely cracked, but shattered, and we see the jagged reflections of its shards, images of his childhood mixed with fragments of adulthood − a child's wartime exile, a mother's experience with political terror, the breakup of a marriage, life in a country home − mixed with slow-motion dreams and poetic chunks of stark newsreels.

Mother and Son(DVD FOREIGN MOT)  72 min.  1997. 

Within a small cabin cloistered in a netherworld as idyllic as a dream, an ailing mother and her grown son get ready for her passing. As the dutiful son comforts his dying mother in her final hours, heartbreak is inevitable.

9th Company (DVD FOREIGN NIN)  140 min.  2005. 

This film is based on a true story of the 9th company during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s. Young Soviet Army recruits are sent from boot camp directly into the war, but real war is not like boot camp. This inexperienced company is sent to defend a difficult position, a task which may be beyond their capabilities.

Prisoner of the Mountains (DVD FOREIGN PRI)  99 min.  1996. 

Two Russian soldiers are taken prisoner by a Chechen father hoping to barter them for the release of his captured son. Understanding between the soldiers and their captors is broken when plans go awry, and a chain of violence and retaliation is precipitated.

Repentance (DVD FOREIGN REP)  In Georgian, Russian, or French, with captions in 13 languages.  153 min.  1987. 

The tragedy of the Stalinist regime in the Soviet Union is paralleled in a provincial Georgian town. Varlam Aravidze, the former mayor, has died. At his funeral he is mourned ostentatiously by his son, his grandson, and the townspeople. One woman, however, refuses to let the dictator rest in peace, exhuming the body each night, leaving it in the Aravidze family garden. Her parents were imprisoned and murdered by Varlam, and she uses her trial to force everyone to confront and acknowledge the horrors of his regime.

Roads to Koktebel (DVD FOREIGN ROA)  105 min.  2005. 

A father sets off from Moscow with his 11-year-old son for his sister's house in Koktebel by the Black Sea. With neither money nor transportation, they drift through the landscape at the mercy of chance. For the father, the journey is an attempt to restore self-respect and win back the trust of his son. For the boy, the mythic coastal town holds the key to a new life.

Russian Ark (DVD FOREIGN RUS)  96 min.  2002. 

A filmmaker is transported to the 18th century on a time-traveling journey through 300 years of Russian history. This is the first feature film made in a single take.


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