Movies by Soviet filmmakers | EW.com

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Movies by Soviet filmmakers

Movies by Soviet filmmakers -- A list of provocative films made abroad, like ''Little Vera'' and ''My Name is Ivan''

Movies by Soviet filmmakers

Even before the recent dawn of glasnost, Soviet filmmakers were turning out handsome, honest, occasionally provocative movies. A few of them have won praise and audiences abroad. Among the best now in the West:

Little Vera (Water Bearer, 1988)
In director Vasily Pichul’s sexually frank tale, a young woman seeks to escape the drudgery of her Muscovite existence via promiscuity and vodka. Vera (Natalya Negoda, left) doesn’t have much fun, but she looks terrific. B-

Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears (RCA/Columbia, 1980)
The Soviet equivalent of a ’50s ”woman’s picture,” director Vladimir Menshov’s feature follows three female friends who leave their rural homes to marry in Moscow. Its humanism made it a shoo-in for the 1980 Best Foreign Film Oscar. B

War and Piece (Kultur, 1968)
Sergei Bondarchuk was entrusted with the largest film project in Soviet history up to that time, a eight-hour adaptation of Tolstoy’s novel. The 373-minute English-dubbed version released here is a poor substitute for the real thing, but it’s still a treat. A-

My Name Is Ivan (Facets Multimedia, 1962)
Andrei Tarkovsky’s story of an orphan who becomes a Soviet spy in World War II is beautiful, poetic, and in the end, devastatingly moving. A+