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Russian Film Series presents Oscar-nominated 'Prisoner'

Oct. 12, 2004

KALAMAZOO--Russians have been fighting Muslims in the Caucasus for a very long time, long enough that Leo Tolstoy wrote a novella about it in 1870 and more than a century later, Tolstoy's work formed the basis of a Cannes award-winning film, "Prisoner of the Mountains."

The Russian Film Series at Western Michigan University presents "Prisoner of the Mountains" Thursday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m. in Room 1021 of Brown Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

"Prisoner of the Mountains" is the story of two Russian soldiers--a fresh recruit named Vanya and a hardened veteran named Sacha--who are taken hostage by Chechen guerillas after a deadly ambush leaves all of their comrades dead. Their captor, a village elder, wants to use them as a bartering tool to get back his own son, held prisoner by the Russian army. The film is a modern version of Leo Tolstoy's "Prisoner of the Caucasus."

Released in 1996 "Prisoner of the Mountains" earned the Audience Award at the Cannes Film Festival and was an Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film. It is a stunning, emotionally charged indictment of war. "Prisoner of the Mountains" is presented in Russian with English subtitles and runs one hour and 39 minutes.

All films in the series are shown on Thursdays at 7 p.m. in Room 1021 of Brown Hall and are free and open to the public. All remaining films fall semester are in English.

Upcoming films this semester are:

Nov. 4--"Anna Karenina" (1935) Classic starring Greta Garbo

Nov. 18--"Nutcracker" (1977) Ballet stars Mikhail Baryshnikov

The Russian Film Series is sponsored by the Russian Section of the Department of Foreign Languages and by the Russian Club, a registered student organization at WMU.

For more information, contact Dr. Dasha Nisula, professor of Russian, at <dasha.nisula@wmich.edu>.

Media contact: Thom Myers, 269 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

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