Starting from 9th Company

The "9th Company" is a 2005 Russian-Ukrainian-Finnish movie about the Soviet-Afghan war and more exactly based on the battle of Hill 3234 in 1988. The main reason I recommend this movie is to promote Russian cinema with works that have what it takes to withstand the attacks of the Hollywood entertainment industry. Russia has to create high quality commercial films in order to compete. This type of art is a huge propaganda tool, American culture is so widespread in part because of commercial movies, not artistic ones, where the hero lights a Marlboro cigarette with the American flag waving in the background and the maiden just saved from the hands of evil is holding tight to the hero's sweaty, beefy hand. Such scenes, as idiotic as they are, repeated in various forms in various movies become hardwired in our brains.

9th Company is not this kind of a movie, it is simply an action/war production  intended to ride the wave of the American invasion of Afghanistan and make some cash. It is nonetheless a good thing to watch, for someone like me who lives in a country where movies are almost all the time of American origin, seeing something in another language is a treat by itself, especially when you are talking about movies with little to no artistic expectations. I am however disappointed of one thing, director Fyodor Bondarchuk could of made a better job in making the movie more Russian, if you change the language with English you won't feel any difference and in fact if it would of been in English I wouldn't have wasted ten minutes writing a review.

There are nonetheless many good Russian movies, but not good enough (to break this marketing wall that favors Hollywood) and not that many and just as I hate monopoly in politics and economy, so I hate monopoly in art and culture. Russia has a long history and enormous possibilities to create unique things, why recycle something made on the other side of the Atlantic, or Pacific... nobody would be interested. Is it enough to rely on the image of the Russian drunk that looks like he went to prison for arms or drug trafficking? I think not, at least not in the case of the largest country on Earth with an unbelievable spirituality.


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