Archive of films Captive / Plennyj

Russia / Bulgaria
2008, 80 min

Section: Official Selection - Competition
Year: 2008

This is a story about war in the Caucasus, where one day is equal to a whole life, where kindness may be a damnation, death a solution and beauty something that can truly terrify. The struggle to survive assumes its own dimensions which govern the rules of behaviour, defying all notions of morality.


A convoy of Russian soldiers finds itself trapped in the mountainous Chechen landscape, lost in unfamiliar hostile territory. All around them explosions and gunfire from the unseen enemy shatter the stifling air. The commander of the garrison sends out the seasoned Rubakhin and the young rifleman Vovka to take captive a local who knows the mountain trails and could lead the men to safety. After a brief exchange of fire, the two men seize a young wounded Chechen who, although he doesn’t speak Russian, seems to have understood his task. On this scorching summer’s day, the incongruous threesome have to make their way through the difficult terrain, forcing all of them to show mutual consideration and willingness. However, the proximity of the Chechen settlements soon destroys the intimacy that has developed between the men, and the captive has to pay a terrible price for his role as their passport to safety. His captors will not escape from the incident unscathed, either… The film illustrates the absurdity of a single day in a horrific and senseless war – a war being fought without anyone understanding its original causes and motivation.

About the director

Alexey Uchitel (b. 1951, Leningrad) graduated from the VGIK and worked as a cameraman and documentary filmmaker at the Leningrad Documentary Film Studio, where he made the feature film Rock (Rok, 1988), profiling stars of the rock scene at that time, and Butterfly (Battyerflai, 1993), about the stage director Roman Viktiuk. These were followed by two retro features on the subject of Russian emigration – Giselle’s Mania (Maniya Zhizeli, 1995) tracing the turbulent life of the prima ballerina Olga Spessivtseva, and His Wife’s Diary (Dnyevnik yego zheny, 2000) about the writer Ivan Bunin, entered for competition in Karlovy Vary. He reflected the mood of the celebrations for the 300th anniversary of the founding of St Petersburg in his romantic tale The Stroll (Progulka, 2003); in the film Dreaming of Space (Kosmos kak predchuvstviye, 2005) he evoked the atmosphere of life in the West for the generation who witnessed Gagarin’s triumph. The film Captive (2008) is based on the novel by eminent writer Vladimir Makanin.


Rock Films
12 Krukov kanal, 190068, St. Petersburg
Tel: +7 495 951 7654; +7 812 714 2056
Fax: +7 495 951 7654; +7 812 714 2056
E-mail: [email protected]

About the film

Color, 35 mm
International premiere

Section: Official Selection - Competition
Director: Alexey Uchitel
Screenplay: Vladimir Makanin, Timofej Děkin / Timofey Dekin
Dir. of Photography: Jurij Klimenko / Yury Klimenko
Music: Leonid Desiatnikov
Editor: Jelena Andrejeva / Yelena Andreyeva, Gleb Nikulskij / Gleb Nikulskiy
Producer: Alexej Učitěl / Alexey Uchitel
Production: Rock Films
Cast: Vjačeslav Krikunov / Vyacheslav Krikunov, Pjotr Logačov / Pyotr Logachyov, Iraklij Mskalaja / Irakly Mskhalaia, Julija Peresild / Yulia Peresild
Contact: Rock Films


Alexey Uchitel

Film Director, Film Director

Kira Saksaganskaya



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