Top 11 Must-Watch Modern Russian Films

Photo of Varia Fedko-Blake
20 April 2018

In recent years, Russian cinematography has overwhelmed the international film scene with the raw energy and innovative ability of its film industry. From art house films and independent docu-films to mainstream blockbusters, beautifully shot contemporary masterpieces provide spectacular glimpses into the condition of the modern Russian state and the essence of its culture. Increasingly it has become clear that Russian filmmaking is an outstanding force not to be reckoned with – we profile 10 essential films you need to watch.

Burnt by the Sun (1994)

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Brother (1997)

With close links to the American gangster genre, Brother is Russia’s answer to crime film. Largely considered to be a breakthrough in Russian cinematography, the film exposes the cruel reality of the nation following the fall of the Soviet Union and the lawlessness of the underground criminal movements gripping the vast country. For an insight into the damp and gritty reality of St. Petersburg’s underworld, this is a must-see.

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The Barber of Siberia (1998)

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Russian Ark (2002)

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The Return (2003)

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Night Watch (2004)

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The Island (2006)

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How I Ended This Summer (2010)

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Hard to Be a God (2013)

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The Postman’s White Nights (2014)

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Leviathan (2014)

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