Showing posts with label Movie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Movie. Show all posts

Russian prison yesterday and today. From 18 and under.

This is the third part of the movie Punishment: the Russian prison yesterday and today. This film about juvenile prison.

They could go to school, walk out with their girlfriends or enjoy nightclub parties. But the territory of their existence is restricted with razor wire. All of them are robbers, killers, abusers. For minor crimes juveniles are not put to prison… The third part of the documentary cycle “Punishment. Russian Prison of the past and the present” disclosed the facts of when and by whom a decision was made that juveniles need to be courted by other laws. What were the main causes of the juveniles being put to prison in days of Stalin? What crimes were committed by children and juveniles after the October of 1917? What was the life of a 16-year-old juvenile put to a cell with hardened urki (prisoners)? What were the causes for prisoners to be put to monastery prisons? Has the attitude of penile system towards juvenile criminals changed today? How many murders are committed by criminals of 18 years old and younger annually? These are terrific questions, but there needs to be somebody to raise these issues and somebody to look for the answers…

Punishment: the Russian prison yesterday and today

Starting from today the series of films about the Russian prison is launched. The film is titled “Punishment: the Russian prison yesterday and today”. This film is about the Russian prison in different times. This is the most complete film about the Russian prison and the things linked with it. The series will concern the concepts, Stalin’s camps, colonies for children and other things linked with the prison. The whole film will be accompanied with narratives of the witnesses and participants of the events.
Today I publish the 1st out of 14 series titled “From Rus to Kolyma”.


Today 860,000 people in Russia are behind the bars. And how many were there 50? 100? 500 years ago? When in general did this strange word “prison” appear? Who wrote the first Russian criminal code? Where did torture instruments come from to Russia? How were the most dangerous criminals recognized? Punishments by whipping and head cutting off, finger cutting and nostrils tearing out, criminal and political prisons, Peter the First as reformer of the Russian prison, the most famous prisoners of Schlusselburg , marvelous planet Kolyma, the most terrible crimes committed by teenagers, love story in Mordova colony, stars both on that and this side of the bars – all these are covered in this first series of the documentary:

Punishment: the Russian prison yesterday and today

Specific features of the film:

The film was shot for Russia and the former-USSR countries and it is not figured for the foreigners that is why different unclear terms and expressions can be encountered in the film. If somebody fails to understand something, please write in the comments what is unclear and we will look into it.


"Zhmurky" AKA "Dead Man's Bluff" has finally been released in English. As I stated in a previous post Russian criminal movies , the film is an excellent humorous representation of the Russian criminal element of the early 90's. I highly recommend.

I hope more and more Russian criminal dramas will be available in English in the future.

Russian criminal movies

There's a lot of films being made about the mafia and of course the Russian mafia. Most foreign movies about the Russian mob are rubbish, though one does have a few true facts and gives some real insight into the real thing. That movie is "Eastern Promises".

What Russian films were or are being made about the mafia?

In Russia, films, shows and miniseries about crime are quite popular. It is not always necessary to have excessive violence, shooting or explosions in these films or tv shows for them to be successful or enjoy popularity. Why? Well, because these films are about day to day life and other things that the audience can relate to, besides being about crime or mafia. There's of course false or exaggerated films. Here are some of the best crime films made in Russia.


The first good action drama film, made after a long pause in Russian film-making. After the fall of the Soviet Union, economy was at an all-time low and film-making along with other entertainment like sports was going through a hard time.

In short, Brother was about a young man named Danila that comes to visit his brother in St. Petersburg after serving in the army. Turns out, his brother is working as a hit-man and and offers Danila some "work".

There's no explosions or car-chases in the film, but it's quite interesting and insightful. It offers a good look at the Russian criminal world as well as regular everyday life in the early 90's.


Danila's adventures continue, but only now in the U.S.A. Danila goes to America to help a Russian hockey player in the NHL get back money that a manager is taking from him through a dirty contract.

The film is not very realistic, unlike the first. This film is aiming to be an answer to all the American movies where American gangsters, police or heroes go to Russia and take down all the Russian "bad guys".

Banditskiy Petersburg

Banditskiy Petersburg was one of the most popular Russian crime drama mini-series in a slew of many. It was made up of 7 parts, each part ranging from 5-12 episodes.

In short, it was at times an accurate account of different crime groups fighting for power in early 90's St. Petersburg and other major cities.


One of the more costly of Russian mini-series from the crime genre made up of 15 episodes. Each episode cost around 250,000-300,000 dollars to make.

It is a story of 4 friends who establish a criminal organization in the 90's. It would be difficult to summarize 15 episodes, but in short, the plot revolves around the groups criminal activities and rise to power.


Crime drama about the adventure of 4 friends while driving a black BMW M7 e38. This is one of the most famous Russian films which also added to the popularity of the BMW in Russian pop culture.

The cell phone ring-tone of the main character in the film became so popular that the author of the ring was rumored to have made close to 1 million dollars off the sales.


The sequel to the first film. Here the story revolves around a BMW X5 e53.

This film is more of a drama than an action flick.


A hilarious comedy about 2 friends driving around on a BMW M5 e34 and their boss Mihalich. One of the better Russian comedies of the time. The action takes place in the 90's so there's lots of dead bodies and just as many stars of Russian contemporary cinema. The director of the film is Balabanov, a great film-maker who also directed Brother 1 and 2.

Zhmurki in english is Blind Man's Bluff or something like that.


This is a crime drama made in Kazakhstan about the life of a young boxer who in the early 90's joins a criminal organization and becomes a racketeer.

A very good and honest film. The story takes place in Kazakhstan.