Magazine article Russian Life

Epic Vladimir: Medieval History Blockbuster

Magazine article Russian Life

Epic Vladimir: Medieval History Blockbuster

Article excerpt

Russia's new epic drama Viking, a film seven years in the making, is the story of the coming to power of Prince Vladimir in tenth century Kievan Rus. The expensive blockbuster, directed by Andrei Kravchuk (whose previous films include The Italian ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.]) and Admiral ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.]), cost some R1.25 billion (over $21 million) to make, and was the highest grossing film in Russia last year, as well as the highest-grossing Russian film in history.

The plot is based on the description of Vladimir's coming to power found in the Russian Primary Chronicles ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.])--a history written by the monk Nestor nearly a century after the fact--and historians say the film more or less accurately reflects the story line, though some medieval experts have been critical.

Some attacked the movie as being overly violent and for depicting Russia as "too dirty," as well as for portraying Vladimir (to whom a giant monument was erected near the Kremlin last year, see Russian Life January/February 2017) as too brutal. …

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