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Monday, July 5, 2010

Beloe solntse pustini (The White Sun of the Desert), 1970



Dubbed ‘the first Russian western,’ this movie is set in an unnamed Central Asian republic at the end of the civil war. Sukhov, a sturdy but caring soldier of the Red Army is returning home to his beloved wife, but is drawn into a stand-off with a local gang headed by cruel war chief Abdullah. Sukhov is to watch over Abdullah’s nine wives, whom the bandit abandoned while fleeing from hunting troops. But eventually the lonely hero has to fight the whole gang, as Abdullah re-appears in the town.


–This movie is said to bring good luck to Russian cosmonauts. They always watch it prior to blast off.
–The Russian customs service plans to fund the creation of a monument to one of the movie’s characters, Vereschagin. While confronting Abdullah, who is trying to flee abroad, he says a well-known phrase: “I don’t take bribes, I just feel hurt for the country.”
–One of the bandits, a tsarist non-com, is wearing a katana instead of a traditional sabre.



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