Russian boy - a military drama about a blind soldier-hearing aid

At the Berlinale, this picture was called one of the most humane. The exact release date in Russia of the full-length military drama about World War I “Russian Boy” (2019) has not yet been determined, but the viewer can already familiarize himself with the plot details, the cast and the trailer for the film. The film was included in the experimental film program Forum of the 69th Berlin Festival (dates: February 7-17, 2019). "Russian Boy" is the directorial debut of Alexander Zolotukhin, a student in the studio of the famous film-maker Alexander Sokurov.The First World War is a real trauma for all of humanity, it was then that weapons of mass destruction were first used, after which the account of the victims went to millions ...

Expectation rating - 98% (KinoPoisk), IMDb rating - 6.6.



Genre: military, drama, historical

Producer:Alexander Zolotukhin

World Release Date: February 10, 2019

Premiere in Russia: 2019 year

Actors:A. Pavlyutin, S. Dvoinikov, D. Tyabin, D. Belov, I. Shlykov, V. Korolev, M. Buturlov, F. Dyachkov, S. Goncharenko, A. Leshchik

The working title of the film is “The Hearing Man”. “Hearing Aids” - this was the name of the soldiers during World War I who, using large acoustic locators, were engaged in “listening to the sky” in order to detect enemy planes.


1916 year, First World War. Inspired by dreams of orders and heroism, a simple blue-eyed guy from a Russian village, Aleksey, voluntarily leaves for war, and in his first battle near Poland loses his sight due to a gas attack. Then he remains a listener at the front, he is trained to detect enemy planes in the sky with the help of huge metal funnels (acoustic bells) that pick up sounds and sound an alarm to warn everyone about the approach of the enemy. In the film, the viewer seems to be inside those events, he will smell the forest, the Russian bath, delicious porridge, urine, gunpowder and mutilated human flesh.

There is another parallel storyline - St. Petersburg, today, a documentary about the rehearsals of the Tauride Orchestra before the performance of Rachmaninoff, Symphony Dances. Orchestra conductor Mikhail Golikov even makes remarks that "penetrate" the military past. In other words, we have before us a story about the sad fate of a Russian soldier and a rehearsal of a modern orchestra, two stories that combine with each other through sound.

Alexander Zolotukhin told why he decided to show not a concert, but a rehearsal of the orchestra:

“In the film, we come back to some musical fragments from time to time, the voice of the orchestra conductor sounds, the conductor’s speech is superimposed on the music, and then the repetition, repetition and repetition all the time. We wanted to show the painstaking inner work that the musicians are doing. Concert - it’s already something final, completed, ready. And our goal is to show the process itself, that perseverance and the passion of people with which they surrender to music. "


The director and scriptwriter was Alexander Zolotukhin ("The Life of My Friend" 2017, "Forests of Babylon" 2015), he worked on the picture for 7 years. In preparation for the shoot, Zolotukhin read The Red Wheel, On the Western Front Without Changes, and Tolstoy, starting with his Caucasian Stories. This helped him to find out what kind of soldier life was, and also to better understand what people who experienced the dramatic events of the First World War experienced. In addition, Zolotukhin studied a large number of memoirs and diaries written by junior ranks and poets of the Silver Age (Gorky, Chaliapin's memoirs).

“We didn’t have the task of accurately reproducing the historical authenticity of the events. We wanted to focus the viewer's attention on the image of World War I. The most important thing was to show the audience real people: what they thought, felt, worried about. These people still don’t know that survive revolutions, other wars and high-profile catastrophes of the twentieth century, "said Alexander Zolotukhin.

Alexander Zolotukhin studied a lot of paintings of that time to find a visual solution for depicting the nature, costumes and appearance of the characters. The film crew had to view many peasant portraits, as well as photographs of the early 20th century with the image of markets, fishermen and everyday life of ordinary people, and even the work of Levitan.

The film’s artistic director is Alexander Sokurov (Conversations with Solzhenitsyn, The Sun, Faust, Taurus).

Producer - Eduard Pichugin ("Three days before spring", "Bird"), executive producer - Andrei Lebedev, operator - Ayrat Yamilov ("Sofichka"), Tatyana Kuzmicheva (“Cargo 200”, “It Doesn’t Hurt”) was responsible for the installation.

Production: the Lenfilm film studio, which provided the film crew with professional equipment, and the Non-Profit Cinema Support Foundation "Example of Intonation" (Alexander Sokurov Foundation) with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and the Government of St. Petersburg.

The first days of shooting took place in the improvised trenches of the first world model, they were recreated exactly like a hundred years ago. The shooting area was the sand pit of the Vyborg district in the Leningrad region, then the shooting was carried out at the Kronstadt forts and the streets of Vyborg.

Video: Breaking a plate on the first day of filming

Cameraman Airat Chmilov managed to achieve a unique grainy and slightly blurry image, which can be seen in old photographs with exposed and scratched film. This is done on purpose, so that the viewer is always out of history and an observer from the side.

Actors and roles

For large-scale scenes were invited not only St. Petersburg actors, but also unprofessional performers.


  • Andrey Pavlyutin as a carpenter ("Crow", "Healer");
  • Sergey Dvoinikov - cavalryman ("Dislike", "Copper Sun");
  • Danil Tyabin - Pavel ("Bloody Mistress", "Graduation");
  • Dmitry Belov - warrant officer (Leningrad 46, Chef 2);
  • Igor Shlykov - German soldier ("Abigail", "Torment");
  • Vladimir Korolev - Alexey;
  • Mikhail Buturlov - Nazarka ("Fire at Headquarters");
  • Philip Dyachkov - propagandist (Year of the Pig, Dead Lake);
  • Artem Leshchik - Makar Petrovich ("Nevsky. Alien among strangers", "Front") and others.

Interesting Facts

It is interesting to know that:

  • “Russian Boy” became the 4th joint project of the Alexander Sokurov Foundation “Example of Intonation” and “Lenfilm” after “Sofichka” by Kira Kovalenko (2016), “Tesnoty” by K. Balagov (2017), and “Deep Rivers” by V. Bitokov (2018 ) All the young directors mentioned are graduates of the directorial workshop of Alexander Sokurov at Kabardino-Balkarian University.
  • The main role went to Vladimir Korolev, a native of the orphanage in St. Petersburg. According to the director, the teenager very unusually talked about life and touchingly read an excerpt from the script. And the prices with his participation were often removed from the first or second takes in order to avoid predictability in the behavior of an actor who was not a professional. Zolotukhin said that mostly children from wealthy families came to the casting, but he was looking for a completely different type, with a certain imprint of a difficult life.
  • According to the director, at the time of filming, the actor who played the main role was 16 years old. Now he is 18, he has grown rocker bangs and plays the guitar.
  • German soldiers were played by real Germans, native speakers.
  • The director about the release date of the film in Russia, in particular in Moscow: "It’s too early to talk about it now. Of course, work is ongoing, but I can’t tell anything yet. I hope there will be shows."

The release date of the military drama "Russian Boy" (2019) has not yet been set in Russia, viewers can study the movie trailer, castes of actors and plot details.

Watch the video: World War II: Prisoners of War - Full Documentary (December 2019).