Prisoner Of The Mountains review

A Russian army unit is ambushed by Muslim rebels in the Caucasus. During the attack, two soldiers (Oleg Menshikov and Sergei Bodrov Jr), one a cynical veteran, the other an innocent recruit, are captured and taken to a remote village. While Abdul the village elder plans to use them in a prisoner exchange for his own son, the duo start to develop an unlikely bond with their captors. Based on Tolstoy's 150-year-old short story, Bodrov's film is a low-key, slow-moving tale, a film that expertly and vividly depicts the clash between two different cultures. Subtitled and restricted to small cinemas and arthouse slots, Prisoner Of The Mountains stands out as a visually striking film, one that's suffused with a great deal of compassion and humanity for its characters. The cumulative impact of its gritty newsreel realism is truly devastating, compounded by the fact that this is a heartfelt homegrown tale. Needless to say, if you only see one Chechen hostage drama this year, make it this one.

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