20 modern films about the Soviet era

The Soviet era was short-lived, but so generous with events that filmmakers still run back to the past in search of plots. Some make nostalgic films, others make tragic and depressing ones. Curiosity about a country that is not on the map, but has forever remained a phenomenon in history, guarantees that soon we will see even more films about the USSR made in our time.

Sakharov. Two Lives (2021)

A new Russian film about the creator of the hydrogen bomb is a biographical project that combines a theatrical production and a documentary format. The movie, with the meticulousness of an experienced detective, follows the vicissitudes of a dramatic struggle with oneself and a complex relationship with Andrei Sakharov’s system. The inventor of super-powerful weapons and a pacifist social activist in the film is talking to his conscience. The on-screen narration is made up of quotes taken from memoirs and declassified archives of the KGB of the USSR.

What do you think, is it worth filming a sequel, and what should be in it?

Genre:
Drama, biography

Actors:
Alexey Usoltsev, Chulpan Khamatova, Agata Super, Andrey Sakharov …

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.1

Age restrictions:
16+


Dear comrades! (2020)

This new movie is another contemporary film about a historic strike at a factory in Novocherkassk during Soviet times. People are demanding lower prices and higher wages, and to pacify the rioters, a government commission brings an army into the city. Riots begin, gunshots are heard in the streets. At this time, party worker Lyudmila, sincerely believing in the ideas of the USSR, wonders why people took up arms against the authorities. However, her teenage daughter Svetka gets into the thick of the indignant crowd. When the girl does not appear at home, in the morning the mother rushes in search of her, along with a KGB officer.

Genre:
Drama, history

Actors:
Julia Vysotskaya, Sergey Erlish, Yulia Burova …

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.0, IMDb – 7.3

Age restrictions:
16+


Palm (2020)

A heartfelt family film about a story of friendship and devotion based on real events that took place in the USSR in 1974-1976. By coincidence, the shepherd Palma is left alone in the capital’s airport. The dog meets planes every day in the hope of seeing his departed master again. It was then that the dog meets the boy Kolya, who moved after the death of his mother to his father-pilot – an absolutely stranger to him. Two lost souls – a boy and a dog – will become a real support for each other.

Genre:
Family, adventure

Actors:
Viktor Dobronravov, Lily, Leonid Basov …

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.3, IMDb – 6.7

Age restrictions:
6+


Odessa (2019)

Summer 1970, Odessa. People swim in the sea and spend their days carefree. Suddenly, due to an outbreak of cholera, the city is closed for strict quarantine. During the epidemic , Grigory Iosifovich and Raisa Irovna are visited by two adult daughters with their husbands, and the third son-in-law Boris, who arrived from Moscow with his son. So the metropolitan journalist falls into a trap, locked in the same apartment with relatives, where already tense relations begin to escalate even more. A single-episode Russian film about Odessa of the Soviet era was filmed in Taganrog and Sochi due to a ban on entry to Ukraine for a drama producer and actor.

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Irina Rozanova, Evgeny Tsyganov, Leonid Yarmolnik …

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.4, IMDb – 6.2

Age restrictions:
18+


Summer (2018)

The most charismatic city in the USSR gave the country legendary bands that entered the big stage from the informal Leningrad rock scene of the 1980s. It was at this time that the creative path of one of the most famous performers of the USSR, Viktor Tsoi, began in the northern capital. The film tells about the formation of a musician , the creation of the Kino group, friendship with Michael Naumenko and a piquant relationship with his wife Natalya.

Genre:
Biography, music

Actors:
Roma Zver, Irina Starshenbaum, Theo Yu …

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 7.3

Age restrictions:
18+


Dovlatov (2018)

A modern feature film about the life of journalists and writers in the USSR will introduce viewers to the young Sergei Dovlatov. The days of the writer on the eve of the emigration of his friend Joseph Brodsky are in suspense. Sergey is not afraid of not having time to realize himself. This frosty Leningrad week most vividly reflects the essence of the writer’s life and his emotional experiences. He participates in the literary movement, faces crime, solves family issues, reads poetry and gets into comical situations.

Genre:
Drama, melodrama

Actors:
Milan Marich, Danila Kozlovsky, Helena Suetska, Svetlana Khodchenkova …

Country:
Russia, Poland, Serbia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.6, IMDb – 6.4

Age restrictions:
16+


Sea Buckthorn Summer (2018)

A simple but interesting story about the playwright Alexander Vampilov tells about the life and death of the master. A talented writer, like no other, he was able to talk about the problems of his generation and moral choice. In 1972, he died on Lake Baikal when his boat capsized – he was not even 35 years old. And shortly before that, he fled away from the city with stuffy offices and artistic councils in order to buy a house on the lake and finally find peace there.

Genre:
Biography, drama

Actors:
Andrey Merzlikin, Sergei Agafonov, Sergei Kaplunov …

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.3, IMDb – 5.6

Age restrictions:
12+


End of a beautiful era (2015)

The next in the list of the best films about the Soviet Union is the film adaptation of a series of short stories by Sergei Dovlatov “Compromise”, based on his journalistic experience. The protagonist Andrey Lentulov moves to Tallinn to work for a local newspaper. A brave and ambitious young man fights against the dominance of censorship and prohibitions. In his personal life, the rebel, in addition to a controversial affair with the editor, has numerous casual relationships. Despite love adventures and drinking , Andrei manages to write a story about Soviet reality.

Genre:
Drama, comedy

Actors:
Ivan Kolesnikov, Sergey Garmash, Fedor Dobronravov, Svetlana Khodchenkova …

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.5, IMDb – 6.4

Age restrictions:
16+


Dolly the sheep was angry and died early (2015)

The film in the genre of comedy takes the student Nikita as a result of a scientific experiment in the 80s. Now the modern guy will have to somehow survive in the Soviet reality, where vending machines sold soda, and there were long queues for sausage. The guy is waiting for interesting adventures , funny situations, meeting with his young parents and rethinking life. However, the student needs to hurry and look for a way home, because every day in the past Nikita is aging at an incredible rate!

Genre:
Fantasy, comedy, adventure

Actors:
Danila Shevchenko, Yulia Savicheva, Viktor Sukhorukov …

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.6, IMDb – 5.7

Age restrictions:
12+


Once (2013)

This film about the Soviet era is a domestic melodrama, a remake of the American film. In the courtyard of the 70s – a period when it was fashionable to wear a flare, and the city fought with the village. A simple 16-year-old guy Leshka falls in love with the girl of his dead brother. Constant prohibitions await him at home, and there are no rules in the yard, only music, dancing , fights, and she is a girl in a short skirt who is friends with the neighbor guys. Leshka and Tanya make a bet “American” – a dispute in which the loser must fulfill any desire of the winner.

Genre:
Melodrama, comedy, drama

Actors:
Yuri Deinekin, Daria Melnikova, Nikita Kalinin …

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.4, IMDb – 6.0

Age restrictions:
16+


Love in the USSR (2012)

The plot of the film about the USSR is based on a love triangle . Calm and reliable Stepan and impulsive Sergey study at the same institute, and both keep their eyes on their classmate Lyudmila. The constant rivalry for the beauty’s heart makes the guys get into ridiculous situations and quarrel. Events unfold in the 1970s – the years when the disappearance of the Union and the future drastic changes in their fate, young people could not even imagine.

Genre:
Melodrama

Actors:
Alexander Lyapin, Lydia Milyuzina, Yegor Baranovsky, Armen Dzhigarkhanyan …

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.4, IMDb – 5.6

Age restrictions:
16+


Legend #17 (2012)

A spectacular movie about the Soviet era from the top Russian films with a high rating is worth watching for all sports fans . An incredible event thundered throughout the Soviet Union – our hockey team defeated the founders of hockey, seasoned professionals from the NHL. This match forever entered the history of the name of Valery Kharlamov, who played at number 17, as an outstanding player who scored two goals in the most important game, where not only the victory of the team, but also the sporting honor of the whole country was at stake.

Genre:
Sports, drama, biography

Actors:
Danila Kozlovsky, Oleg Menshikov, Svetlana Ivanova …

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.0, IMDb – 7.5

Age restrictions:
6+


My dad is Baryshnikov (2011)

Boris lives on the outskirts of Moscow, studies at a choreographic school and dreams of finding out who his real father is. When he does not have clear answers, he thinks out the truth on his own and one day decides that his dad is the great dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov. The images of the characters, music, atmosphere and details – everything in this comedy drama is saturated with the spirit of the USSR, which allows you to completely immerse yourself in a bygone era.

Genre:
Drama, comedy

Actors:
Dmitry Vyskubenko, Anna Mikhalkova, Vladimir Kapustin …

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.8, IMDb – 6.8

Age restrictions:
12+


House of the Sun (2009)

Alexandra is an exemplary and smart girl from an intelligent family. The sun is a free-spirited hippie. It is not difficult to guess that an obedient girl will be interested in a daring guy who knows no boundaries. Together young people will spend unforgettable days filled with sun, rock concerts, campfire conversations and love. Summer will change Sasha forever, prepare him for adulthood and help him understand where to go next. A modern film about life in the USSR with excellent reviews from the audience has become a kind of tribute to the culture of hippies – children of flowers who grew up on both sides of the Iron Curtain.

Genre:
Melodrama, music

Actors:
Svetlana Ivanova, Stanislav Ryadinskiy, Daria Moroz…

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 6.3

Age restrictions:
16+


Stilyagi (2008)

The action of the musical film takes place in 1955-1956 – the period when a new youth trend “styling” appeared in the USSR. Girls and boys listened to rock ‘n’ roll and jazz, put on bright clothes bought from fartsov, and had fun at night parties. An exemplary Komsomol member Mels unexpectedly discovers the world of music, freedom and love. He plunges headlong into a new hobby, struggling with the harsh pressure of society and the system.

Genre:
Musical, drama, melodrama, comedy

Actors:
Anton Shagin, Oksana Akinshina, Evgenia Brik …

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.9, IMDb – 7.1

Age restrictions:
16+


Paper Soldier (2008)

The protagonist of the Russian drama is the Soviet doctor Daniil Pokrovsky. He is engaged in an important business – training pilots for sending into space , and against this background, his personal tragedy unfolds. Daniel dreams of a bright future, but suffers from nightmares. Yes, and his soul is restless – the doctor rushes between conscience and a sense of duty, and in matters of the heart – between an intelligent wife and a passionate lover.

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Merab Ninidze, Chulpan Khamatova, Anastasia Sheveleva …

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.6, IMDb – 6.5

Age restrictions:
16+


Vanished Empire (2007)

A realistic film about Soviet life from the creator of the comedy “Courier” – a box office hit of the USSR. Serega is a simple guy, he studies at the institute, listens to foreign music and dreams of jeans. He has a girlfriend, Luda, whom he tries to surprise with new music records. Soon a new Katya appears on their course, and Sergey begins to flirt with her. While the guy is building a new relationship, his friend Stepan comforts his former lover Luda. This is how the love drama spins against the backdrop of the collapse of the Union.

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Yegor Baranovsky, Armen Dzhigarkhanyan, Vladimir Ilyin …

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.9, IMDb – 6.8

Age restrictions:
16+


Space as premonition (2005)

The plot of the drama will take the viewer to the snowy expanses of Murmansk in 1957. The new generation of the youth of the USSR is confident in a bright future and is full of bright hopes, and all around there is talk about the conquest of space. On a cruise ship, a couple in love – a cook and a waitress – meet a mysterious stranger, and he tells them a seemingly incredible secret: he is preparing to become an astronaut and is already undergoing training.

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Evgeny Mironov, Evgeny Tsyganov, Irina Pegova …

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.8, IMDb – 6.7

Age restrictions:
18+


Khrustalev, the car! (1998)

This film about the USSR illuminates the last days of Stalin’s rule, when the sinister “doctors’ case” has already reached its climax. The first part of the film shows the life of General of Medical Service Yuri Klensky. The man realizes that he is the next one who can go to the camps. The second part takes the viewer already to the prison everyday life of Yuri, who is trying with all his might to correct the situation. A simple Soviet stoker Fedya Aramyshev accidentally gets involved in a story connected with serious political affairs.

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Yuri Tsurilo, Nina Ruslanova, Mikhail Dementiev …

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.3, IMDb – 7.4

Age restrictions :
16+


American (1997)

The events of the film take place in 1977 in a provincial Soviet town. High school students enter the time of growing up, worn on motorcycles , fight and dance the shake. Lesha Kolyadko is head over heels in love with Tanya, the girlfriend of his dead brother. She spends time with the boys from the neighboring area – enemies with whom the deceased constantly fought. Lesha cannot calmly perceive this circumstance and begins to act. He makes a bet with Tanya, and under the terms of the “American” the loser is obliged to fulfill any desire.

Genre:
Melodrama

Actors:
Nina Usatova, Viktor Bychkov, Andrey Krasko …

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.3, IMDb – 6.8

Age restrictions:
12+


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Jared Lambert/ author of the article

I’ve been writing about movies, TV shows and anime for over 3 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

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