Archive of films The Major / Maior

2013, 99 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2013

An expressive, searing drama about the tragic consequences of a morally questionable and cowardly action. A policeman who runs over a child turns to his colleagues to camouflage his guilt. This step sets in motion the machinery of a dark lawlessness which claims innocent victims.


A car driving way above the speed limit on an icy highway causes the death of a small boy. The police major behind the wheel calls his colleagues directly from the scene of the accident and they immediately take steps to cover his tracks. The devastated mother of the child is first falsely charged with drunkenness and neglect, and when the guilty major can’t bring himself to curb the explosion of police despotism prompted by his own cowardice, the boy’s parents’ efforts to obtain justice have a devastating impact on their lives. The desolation and barbarity of the story, compressed into one day and only a few locations, are reinforced by an almost black-and-white impression of the bleak snow-covered landscape along the highway, and the similarly oppressive interiors of the police building. Yet this isn’t the sort of terror elicited by a bloody action movie, it’s metaphysical in nature. The audience soon begins to read the film as a parable of sheer evil, stemming from the immaturity of individuals whose ability to act according to moral principles frequently fails miserably the first time they are confronted with an extreme situation.

About the director

Yuri Bykov (b. 1981, Novomichurinsk, Russia) studied acting at the VGIK (2005) and subsequently performed in various Moscow theatres, on television and in film. Most recently he convincingly portrayed the coldblooded policeman Pasha in his latest film The Major. A multitalented composer, screenwriter, director and producer, he currently leads a film studio named after the legendary Russian rap group Mnogotochie. He composed the music for The Major and for his feature debut Live! (Zhit, 2010), which won Best Debut at the Moscow IFF. Previously he made four short films of which The Boss (Nachalnik, 2009) won Best Short at Sochi. His films show a consistent interest in how a person behaves in extreme situations. The Major was selected for Critics’ Week at Cannes.


Prinzessinnenstr. 16, 10969, Berlin
Tel: +49 306 150 7505
Fax: +49 302 758 2872

About the film

Color, DCP

Section: Horizons
Director: Yuri Bykov
Screenplay: Yuri Bykov
Dir. of Photography: Kirill Klepalov
Music: Yuri Bykov
Editor: Yuri Bykov
Producer: Alexei Uchitel, Kira Saksaganskaya
Production: Rock Films, 1.2. Company
Cast: Denis Shvedov, Irina Nizina, Ilya Isaev, Yuri Bykov
Contact: m-appeal


Olga Aylarova


Lena Bystrova



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