Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5
Original title: Kavkazskiy Plennik
Russia/Kazakhstan, 1996. Karavan. Screenplay by Arif Aliev,Sergey Bodrov, Boris Giller, based on the story by Leo Tolstoy. Cinematography by Pavel Lebeshev. Produced by Sergey Bodrov, Carolyn Cavallero, Boris Giller, Eduard Krapivsky. Music by Leonid Desyatnikov. Production Design by Valeri Kostrin. Costume Design by Vera Romanova. Film Editing by Alan Baril, Olga Grinshpun, Vera Kruglova.
Russian soldiers enter the Caucausus mountains on what they think will be a routine raid but end up being ambushed by Islamic separatists. Two of them are taken prisoner and installed in the home of a Chechen bigwig until such time as he is able to negotiate with their superiors: his son is in a Russian prison, and he will return the soldiers in exchange for him. While enduring this captivity, the two men find themselves developing a surprising friendship, one that arises between two people who would never have anything in common otherwise, and learn plenty about their captors as well. It’s not a film that hits very deep, and its characters aren’t particularly interesting, but it takes you somewhere and the experience is memorable. Based on a short story by Leo Tolstoy.
Academy Award Nomination: Best Foreign Language Film
European Film Award: Best European Screenwriter
Golden Globe Award Nomination: Best Foreign Language Film
Toronto International Film Festival: 1996