5 NEW Russian history movies you must see (2023)

1. Zoya

In 1941, when the battle for Moscow was at its peak, Nazi forces took up positions in villages surrounding the capital and the Soviets sent saboteur-scout groups to burn down the buildings in the settlements that the enemy was planning to use to wait out the winter. One of the members of such a group was 18-year-old Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya - yesterday’s school girl and now, a volunteer.

Kosmodemyanskaya managed to set fire to three buildings in the village of Petrischevo before she was caught. The young woman showed incredible bravery in the face of torture and beatings, but never broke. Even as she was led to the noose by the Nazis, she continued to shout to the gathered locals to rebel against the occupiers.

Zoya became one of the most fabled heroines of WWII in Soviet days. Dozens of songs and movies were dedicated to her memory, as well as poems and novels. After the fall of the USSR, her image periodically came under attack from those who believed she suffered from schizophrenia and that her house burnings ended up costing the lives of some of the village’s inhabitants, who ended up freezing without a roof over their heads.

In order to prevent a rewriting of history, the Russian Military-Historical Society (RMHS) decided to initiate a new cinematic project that would tell the story of the famous saboteur. “The RMHS and its staff, as well as many in our country are aware of Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya’s heroic sacrifice. To our sadness, we’ve noticed that, lately, this isn’t true for many others, who don’t know, or don’t remember - there were even attacks and accusations for just about anything. Once, she - a young woman came to the Motherland’s defense, as well as the defense of the world and the present. We believe that we must defend her against these attacks and historical falsifications and prevent her image from being tainted,” RMHS information politics department head Nadezhda Usmanova said.

‘Zoya’ is set for release in Russia in January 2021.

2. Chernobyl. The Abyss

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After the resounding success of the HBO miniseries ‘Chernobyl’, Russian filmmakers began working on their own show dealing with the tragic events. The role of director and main character went to Danila Kozlovsky, which many will know as Prince Oleg from the hit show ‘Vikings’.

The story revolves around Aleksey, a firefighter who signs up to the volunteer brigade that is sent to the epicenter of the terrible catastrophe to deal with the aftermath of the reactor’s explosion. Together with him are his friends, Valery, an engineer, and Boris, who is a diver.

“Our story is not a blow by blow recount of the cleanup and liquidation of the catastrophe, it’s not an attempt to analyze the factors that resulted in what happened there in 1986 - it’s a tale of a family, a hero and a child, their relationships, how their lives changes and how they dealt with these changes,” Kozlovsky told in an interview to Forbes. “It’s about how this catastrophe interferes with their routine and changes them, how they must face it, how they deal with the circumstances and how they buck under their pressure, how they conduct themselves when faced with one of the most terrifying technogenic catastrophes. To us this was of greater importance than any political and other related aspects of the story.”

The movie (set for release in Russia in April this year) was filmed in Moscow, Hungary and Croatia. The main events were filmed at the Kursk Nuclear Power Plant, which is identical to the one in Chernobyl.

3. Palma

It’s 1977. Igor Polsky leaves on a trip, but cannot take his dog with him, because it doesn’t have the necessary medical papers. Abandoned, Palma finds sanctuary at the airport and meets every arriving plane in hopes that her owner will exit the arrivals gate.

An incredible true story became the basis for the plot. It took place in the 1970s and caused a massive stir in the USSR. Thousands of people wrote letters and telegrams, asking to adopt Palma, who now lived at Moscow’s Vnukovo airport. Finally, the German shepherd - who hadn’t trusted anyone for a long time, agreed to be taken in by her new family in Kiev, that of a pedagogical school associate professor, Vera Kotlyarskaya.

Owing to the fact that Palma’s story is incredibly similar to that of the famous dog Hachikō, a decision was made to release a special longer cut of the movie for the Japanese market, which includes additional scenes filmed in the Akita prefecture on Honshu Island, starring Russian and Japanese actors. The movie will be called ‘The Story of Akita and Palma’ and scheduled for release in March.

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4. The Pilot

In the winter of 1941, Nikolay Komlev’s plane is shot down somewhere over the inhospitable wilderness. The pilot survives, but the hardest ordeal still awaits him. He must navigate the freezing forest, surviving cold and hunger as he is hunted by a pack of wolves and German soldiers.

The events in ‘The Pilot’ are very similar to the real-life story of pilot Aleksey Marasyev. Shot down in April, 1942, he traversed the woods for 18 days, using the sun to find his bearings before he could finally reach civilization and be saved by people. Despite eventually having to have both legs amputated, Marasyev managed to talk his way into returning to flying and continued to fight the Nazis in the air until almost the end of the war.

“The movie undoubtedly resonates with the real-life exploits of Aleksey Maresyev, but the character is actually a collective image, as there were actually eight people in the Soviet Army who suffered a similar fate,” director Renat Davletyarov claims.

According to him, one of the primary tasks of ‘The Pilot’ was the study of a person’s experience in extraordinarily difficult situations. “The Great Patriotic War is sacred to our people. This sacred and respectful attitude to it will not pass for a long time, this is just how terrible it was. I don’t believe at all that this will change. But in the realm of fiction, the opportunity to study the plight of man is of the utmost importance,” Devletyarov adds.

‘The Pilot’ is scheduled for release in Russia in late 2021.

5. World Champion

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Anatoly Karpov and Viktor Korchnoy compete in the 1978 World Chess Championships in the Philippines.

Getty Images

1978 saw one of the greatest chess games of all time take place in the Philippines - the battle between defending champion grandmaster Anatoly Karpov and his challenger, Viktor Korchnoy. What made the match sensational was the fact that two years prior, Korchnoy had fled the USSR, asking for political asylum in The Netherlands. For many, the match became a symbol of the struggle between the socialist East and the capitalist West.

The game itself was full of scandal. The challenger refused to shake hands with the grandmaster, as well as opting to sit in sunglasses for the duration of the match, while also refusing to stand for ‘The International’, which the Philippinos had mistakenly played instead of the Soviet national anthem. He also demanded that a psychologist by the name of Zukhar be found another seat, instead of in the front row - alleging that he was constantly staring in his direction.

Due to the coronavirus crisis, filming for ‘World Champion’ has faced a number of delays and rescheduling. The premiere has been planned for late 2021. “We will open a new page in the history of chess movies,” director Aleksey Sidorov believes.

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What is the best Russian movie? ›

30 Best Russian Movies Of All Time
  • Battleship Potemkin (1925) Image Source: britannica.com. ...
  • Man With A Movie Camera (1929) Image Source: ft.com. ...
  • Earth (1930) Image Source: IMDb.com. ...
  • The Cranes Are Flying (1957) ...
  • Ballad of a Soldier (1959) ...
  • Hamlet (1964) ...
  • War and Peace (1965) ...
  • Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (1965)
29 Apr 2022

What is the highest grossing Russian film? ›

This figure is comparable to some of the United States' all-time highest ticket sellers, such as The Sound of Music, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, and Titanic, exceeding the latter's estimated ticket sales of 135.5 million.
Initial runs.
Release yearOriginal1971
19 more columns

Are there any Russian movies on Netflix? ›

Watching Russian Movies On Netflix

And if you haven't done this before, don't stress – it's easy. In the Netflix search bar, type in 'Russian movies' and everything available should come up. (Some options will be English shows about Russia – just ignore those.) You can also simply search for a specific movie title.

Where can I find Russian movies? ›

Five great websites for watching Russian films or TV online
  • Klassiki.
  • Netflix.
  • Smotrim (Смотрим)
  • YouTube.
3 Mar 2021

Is there any good Russian movies? ›

  • # 25. HAMLET. Grigori Kozintsev 1964.
  • # 26. ANDREI RUBLEV. Andrei Tarkovsky 1966.
  • # 27. JULY RAIN. Marlen Khutsiev 1967.
  • # 28. BRIEF ENCOUNTERS. Kira Muratova 1967.
  • # 29. THE COMMISSAR. Aleksandr Askoldov 1967.
  • # 30. MONOLOG. Ilya Averbakh 1972.
  • # 31. THE MIRROR. Andrei Tarkovsky 1975.

Is there an app to watch foreign films? ›

The best streaming services for foreign-language movies are Funimation (for anime), Magnolia (for documentaries), and Mubi (for feature-length films). In this list, we will be going through the all the options for those who have a preference for movies from outside the English-speaking world.

Does Russia watch American movies? ›

Svidler notes that more than 70% of the films shown in Russia are Hollywood movies.

Does Russia have a movie industry? ›

With 145 million cinema tickets sold in 2021, Russia is the fourth-largest film market in the world. Russian movie production started in the Russian Empire and steadily developed during the Soviet period.

Why is Bollywood famous in Russia? ›

Now, it is said that Bollywood films are already popular in the region and according to Olga Zinyakova, president of the Karo cinema chain, people in the country have lined up to watch Bollywood movies. "People used to line up to see Bollywood in cinemas, so there is interest in these movies,” said Zinyakova.

What should I watch to learn Russian? ›

7 Best TV Series/Movies for Learning to Speak Russian
  • Бедная Настя (Poor Nastya) This historical telenovela has been broadcasted in 34 countries of the world. ...
  • Брат (Brother) ...
  • Достоевский (Dostoyevsky) ...
  • А́нна Каре́нина (Anna Karenina) ...
  • Кухня (Kitchen) ...
  • Екатерина (Catherine) ...
  • Анжелика (Angelica)
17 Feb 2018

Does Hulu have Russian movies? ›

Browse the full list of Russian movies and TV shows streaming on Hulu.

Does Netflix have Russian TV shows? ›

Since the introduction of streaming services in the entertainment world, people are now not only just limited to movies and TV shows from Hollywood and their native countries but also have been shown interest in other country's languages such that you can now even watch best Russian tv shows and movies on Netflix in ...

Where can I watch Russian movies with English subtitles? ›

Here is a list of channels and websites where you can watch Russian movies and TV-series with subtitles:
  • Russian Film Hub. A great website to watch hundreds of Russian movies with foreign subtitles. ...
  • Советские movies. ...
  • zFilm-HD.org. ...
  • Star Media. ...
  • Mosfilm cinema concern. ...
  • Odesa Film Studio. ...
  • RusFilmES. ...
  • НТВ
15 Oct 2021

What is on Russian Netflix? ›

Russian Movies & TV
  • Hardcore Henry.
  • Kid-E-Cats.
  • Secret Magic Control Agency.
  • Major Grom: Plague Doctor.
  • Sparta.
  • Dovlatov.
  • Masha and the Bear: Nursery Rhymes.
  • Masha and the Bear.

Is Amazon Prime in Russia? ›

Amazon's decision means consumers in Russia will no longer be able to order products on Amazon or use its Prime Video streaming services. While the company doesn't break out sales from Russia in its financial statements, its customer base there is minimal compared with its largest markets.

Which is the best free movie streaming site? ›

The top 10 free movie streaming sites
  1. YouTube. You probably already know that YouTube has all manner of independently made vlogs and shows — some of it is even good. ...
  2. Crackle. ...
  3. Pluto TV. ...
  4. Freevee (formerly IMDb TV) ...
  5. Fawesome. ...
  6. Tubi TV. ...
  7. Crunchyroll. ...
  8. Peacock TV.
19 Sept 2022

Are there any free movies? ›

Apps and sites like Crackle, Freevee, Tubi, Vudu, YouTube and now Peacock all have free movies online for you to stream. The only catch: You have to watch ads. On the plus side, while there are commercial interruptions, the movies are not edited for content like they are on broadcast channels.

Which streaming service has the most old movies? ›

Where to Watch Classic Movies Online: The 7 Best Sites and...
  • Hulu Classics.
  • Netflix Classics.
  • Archive.org.
  • Kanopy.
  • Fandor.
  • Watch TCM.
  • Criterion Channel.

Do Russians watch TV? ›

Television is the most popular medium in Russia, with 74% of the population watching national television channels routinely and 59% routinely watching regional channels. There are 3300 television channels in total.

What American TV shows are popular in Russia? ›

1Game of Thrones
2The Librarians
3Body of Proof
4Once Upon a Time
5 more rows
2 Dec 2015

Why Hollywood movies are not releasing in China? ›

Over the years many movies have been banned in China, owing to a number of reasons - from portraying a Chinese flag, to casting actors or having filmmakers who have not found favour with the government of the country.

What is the film industry of Russia called? ›

The cinema of Russia began in the Russian Empire, widely developed in the Soviet Union and in the years following its dissolution, the Russian film industry would remain internationally recognized.
Cinema of Russia
No. of screens4,372 (2016)
• Per capita2.1 per 100,000 (2011)
11 more rows

Did the Soviet Union make movies? ›

The postwar period was marked by an end of almost all autonomy in the Soviet Union. The Catalogue of Soviet Films recorded remarkably low numbers of films being produced from 1945 to 1953, with as few as nine films produced in 1951 and a maximum of twenty-three produced in 1952.

Which country is Soviet Union? ›

The Soviet Union was created by the treaty between the Soviet socialist republics of Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, and the Transcaucasian Federation, by which they became its constituent republics.

Which Indian actor is popular in Russia? ›

Why was Bollywood icon Raj Kapoor so popular in Russia? The answer to this question was unexpectedly given by an old Russian lady who said it was the optimism of the charismatic actor that inspired them to brave through hard times.

Are Indian movies famous in Russia? ›

Kolkata: Russians have increasingly been flocking to cinemas to watch Indian movies since March, when several international OTT platforms suspended their services in that country and Hollywood, too, pulled out after the offensive in Ukraine.

Which Bollywood song is famous in Russia? ›

Jimmy Jimmy, featuring Mithun Chakraborty, was a worldwide hit with fan following in Southern and Central Asia, Eastern and Western Africa, the Middle East, East Asia, Turkey and the Soviet Union. The song was composed by Bappi Lahiri in the 1982 film Disco Dancer. Soon enough, it went on to become a cult in Russia.

What is the best way to learn Russian language? ›

Tips for the Best Way to Learn Russian
  1. Learn Cyrillic. ...
  2. Learn stressed (elongated) and unstressed (shortened) vowel sounds.
  3. Memorize Russian phrases and basic Russian words.
  4. Practice speaking Russian as much as possible, especially with native speakers.
16 Dec 2020

Does Lingopie have Russian? ›

What Languages Does Lingopie Offer? Lingopie has videos and flashcards for learning six languages: French, Italian, German, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

Is Hulu blocked in Russia? ›

Hulu is officially inaccessible in Russia, but that shouldn't let you keep you from streaming to your heart's content. Watching Hulu with PureVPN is easy breezy. All you need to do is a PureVPN subscription, and the native app downloaded and installed on your streaming device.

Is Hulu still in Russia? ›

Is Hulu available in Russia? No, Hulu is not available in Russia but you can still watch Hulu in Russia through a VPN. We recommend ExpressVPN.

How do I get Russian subtitles on Hulu? ›

During playback, click the Settings icon. Click into the Subtitles & Audio menu. Choose an available language or select Off.

Why there is no Russian-language in Netflix? ›

The company had already refused to follow Russia's new rules for audiovisual firms.

Did Netflix cancel Anna Karenina? ›

Series that had been in production or post-production have been discontinued, including its first Russian-language drama Anna K, a contemporary retelling of the 1878 novel known as one of literature's greatest works. Filming on that series finished last year.

Did Netflix remove Anna Karenina? ›

Netflix Halts Production on Russian-Language Series, Pauses Future Acquisitions From Russia. Upcoming series included a contemporary retelling of 'Anna Karenina,' the streamer's first Russian original series, and a Neo-noir detective drama.

Is Soviet movies online free? ›

The vast majority of them are free to watch, primarily through YouTube, Prime Video, and Tubi. Other titles are available to rent or buy. Exploring and enjoying Russian and Soviet cinema has never been more accessible!

How do Russians get movies? ›

Here you'll find out the best websites to watch films in Russian with or without subtitles, some useful tools and tricks and my personal opition on subtitles.
Pop some popcorn!
  1. Watch movies in Russian on Netflix. ...
  2. Watch Russian movies on IVI.
  3. Amediateka, home of HBO.
  4. Russian movies on YouTube. ...
  5. Watch movies in Russian on VK.
14 Oct 2021

Where can I watch Russia? ›

Quick Guide: 3 Steps to Watch Russia-1 From Anywhere

I recommend CyberGhost since it has the best speeds for watching Russia-1 without interruption. Connect to a server in Russia. Start watching Russia-1! Just go to russia.tv and start streaming.

Is Netflix pulling out of Russia? ›

National Media Group owns or operates dozens of TV networks, production companies and other media assets in Russia. Netflix will lose between 100,000 and 1 million subscribers from this decision.

How much does Netflix cost in Russia? ›

Watch Netflix on your smartphone, tablet, Smart TV, laptop, or streaming device, all for one fixed monthly fee. Plans range from USD9. 99 to USD19. 99 a month.

Did Netflix cancel Russia? ›

Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, attends a press conference in Mexico City, Mexico. Netflix is pulling its service in Russia following the country's invasion of Ukraine, the company confirmed to CNBC.

Is Disney+ available in Russia? ›

No. Currently, Disney Plus is not available in Russia. Using a reputable VPN, however, you will be able to unblock Disney Plus from a restricted country like Russia.

Is Amazon blocked in Russia? ›

In addition to Amazon, other major players like Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, Netflix, and PayPal have stopped doing business with Russia.

Is IKEA closed in Russia? ›

The Swedish furniture company, which still has 14 malls in Russia under another brand, is one of the latest companies exiting the Russian market amidst the country's war in Ukraine.

What is the highest grossing film in China? ›

The Battle at Lake Changjin

Was Bollywood popular in Soviet Union? ›

Yet an area of Soviet cinema still less explored is the popularity of a 'Bollywood' cinema amongst Soviet audiences, which became one of the most popular genres in the Soviet era from its introduction in the 1950s.

What is the most viewed French film? ›

French productions
RankTitleTickets sold
1Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis20,489,303
2The Intouchables19,490,688
3La Grande Vadrouille17,267,607
4Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra14,559,509
14 more rows

Which Indian movie has highest collection in China? ›

PK (2014) was the first Indian film to collect ₹2 billion overseas, and Dangal (2016) is the first Indian film to exceed ₹10 billion and $100 million overseas, including ¥1.299 billion (US$192 million) from China.

What is the highest grossing foreign film? ›

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Which language has most number of movies? ›

Movie Languages
LanguagesNo. of MoviesTotal Worldwide Box Office
138 more rows

What is the highest grossing non Hollywood movie? ›

Highest-grossing films by box office revenue
RankEnglish titleWorldwide gross (in US$)
1The Battle at Lake Changjin$913 million
2Wolf Warrior 2$874 million
3Hi, Mom$848 million
4Ne Zha$743 million
46 more rows

Are Indian movies famous in Russia? ›

Kolkata: Russians have increasingly been flocking to cinemas to watch Indian movies since March, when several international OTT platforms suspended their services in that country and Hollywood, too, pulled out after the offensive in Ukraine.

Which Bollywood song is famous in Russia? ›

Jimmy Jimmy, featuring Mithun Chakraborty, was a worldwide hit with fan following in Southern and Central Asia, Eastern and Western Africa, the Middle East, East Asia, Turkey and the Soviet Union. The song was composed by Bappi Lahiri in the 1982 film Disco Dancer. Soon enough, it went on to become a cult in Russia.

Why Raj Kapoor is famous in Russia? ›

Share it now! When legendary Bollywood actor Raj Kapoor first landed in Moscow in 1954 without a visa, Soviet authorities allowed him to pass through immigration with ease. Once “he got outside and waited for a taxi… By then people started recognising that Raj Kapoor is in Moscow.

What is the highest-grossing French language film in the US? ›

Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain (2001)

The film was a massive success in America and is currently the highest-grossing French film in American history. Amélie also was nominated for five Academy Awards, including best foreign-language film and original screenplay.

What is the highest-grossing film in France? ›

Titanic, directed by James Cameron and released in 1998, reached a record cumulated audience of 21.8 million viewers in France, making it the most successful movie since 1945.

What is the highest-grossing Italian film? ›

As of October 2022, "Que Vado" (2015) was the highest-grossing Italian movie in the history of Italy's cinema, with a domestic box office revenue of over 65 million euros.

In which country Bollywood is famous except India? ›

Germany has always loved Bollywood but their craze for Indian movies increased after Shahrukh's 'Kabhie Khushi Kabhi Gham'. If there's one man who needs to be given the credit for Bollywood's popularity in Germany, it is Shah Rukh Khan.

Do foreigners watch Indian movies? ›

I am an American living in Tampa Florida and me and my family have been watching Bollywood movies for nearly 20 years now. We love them and cannot get enough. We probably watch as many as 5 Hindi films in one week…. not just Bollywood, but also Tollywood, Kollywood as well.

In which countries Indian movies are famous? ›

Countries where people love Indian movies as much as we do
  • GERMANY. Bollywood is so popular here. ...
  • PAKISTAN. It makes sense that Pakistan would love Bollywood as much as India, after all we share a history, a language and a penchant for dramatic flair. ...
  • INDONESIA. ...
  • Agencies.
17 Mar 2019


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