The film segment of the second annual Russian Arts Festival runs Friday through Sunday, November 28 through 30, at First Chicago Center Theater, First National Bank of Chicago, 2 N. Dearborn. Tickets for all programs are $6, students and seniors $2. For more information call 773-734-2619.



“Another Russian gangster film,” you may groan at first, as I did at the onset of this feature by writer-director Alexei Balabanov (who made the remarkable 1995 short Trofilm). But the further this movie develops, the better it gets–not only as a hard-edged look at Russian life today but also as a finely nuanced psychological study. Starring Sergei Bodrov Jr. (Prisoner of the Mountains), this follows the ups and downs of a young man who returns to Saint Petersburg after leaving the army and discovers that his brother is a hit man. (JR) (5:30)


Time of the Dancer

Following the end of World War II, three friends return home from the front and try to readjust to civilian life. Vadim Abdrashitov (Sluga) directed; with Sergei Garmash, Chulpan Khamatova, Zurab Kipshidze, and Yuri Stepanov. (3:00)


Viktor Sergeyev (Genius, The Executioner) directed this political thriller about organized crime’s ties to the judiciary and special services in postreform Russia. Based on a true story; with Alexander Abdulov. (6:00)

The Man for the Young Woman

A 1996 romantic comedy about a middle-aged family man who falls for a younger woman. Murad Ibragimbekov directed; with Regimantas Adomaitis and Oleg Yankowsky. (8:30)


Pioneer Mary Pickford

Shot entirely on location in the U.S., Vladimir Levin’s comedy recalls the early years of Soviet collectivization. A schoolgirl, inspired by silent films of Mary Pickford, causes consternation in her village when she announces her ambition to become a movie star. (3:00)


A poet released from a political prison returns home to his wife and child, but after a reading of his work he has the opportunity to buy a pistol and finds himself developing an “anti-muse.” Vladimir Khotinenko directed this 1996 drama; with Sergei Makovetsky, Irina Metlitskaya, and Vladimir Ilyin. (5:00)

The Hunting Party: Russian Style

A 1995 comedy written and directed by Alexander Rogozhkin (Living With an Idiot), about a Finnish anthropology student who joins a Russian hunting party and imagines what this experience would have been like in the 19th century. With Ville Hapsalo and Viktor Bychkov. (7:00)

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Time of the Dancer film still.