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Short summary

Based on the trilogy of books by Anatoly Rybakov: "Deti Arbata", "Strakh", and "Prach I Pepel". The events circle the 1930's to 1940's. The film leads the viewer into the Kremlin offices, communal flats, university lecture halls and even into prison cells. The viewer also gets to feel what various aspects of life felt like, including Siberian village life, life in various Russian provinces and the tragic events of the breakout of World War II. The story's heroes are the simple lads and girls of the Moscow Arbat and the high-ranking powers: Stalin and his colleagues, workers, head's of scientific institutions and large contractors. The film lets you feel what life was like for these people, their lives and work and the enormous influence of war on the fate of the people.

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: I am hcv men
    This movies is based on Anatolii Rybakov's Trilogy "Deti Arbata". The script-writer has done an excellent job selecting the right scenes from the book. However, I would suggest reading the book first, as it might be hard to follow some story lines otherwise. The movie should probably be treated more like an illustration to the book, even though it is a bit different (and better in some respects). The actors, the director, and the cameramen are excellent. The roles of Sasha, Varya, Soph'ya Alexandrovna, Yura Sharok, Lena Budyagina, - were played exactly the way I imagined from reading the book. Maksim Kostin seems a bit 2-dimensional, but his role is a very secondary one. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by seeing a new Russian movie of such a high quality and lots of new actors who can play so well. Especially after seeing crap such as "Nochnoi Dozor" (Night Watch) and "Pobeg" (Escape (?)) or relatively good (but nothing special) movies like "Shtrafbat" (Penal Battalion). Very highly recommended. 10/10
  • comment
    • Author: Rageseeker
    Does anyone out there know if the music is available? I know some of it was original compositions, but I think I caught Leonid Utesov as well as a Russian version of what I know as "Blue Moon." Some of the others sound period as well. Would love to have the soundtrack, if such a thing exists.

    I admit I couldn't help thinking that many of the main characters lived a lot better - materially - than others during this same period, but it's focusing on the Moscow intelligentsia after all.

    Oh, and somebody needs to subtitle this thing so I can watch it with my husband lol!
  • comment
    • Author: Stylish Monkey
    "Children of the Arbat" caused an absolute sensation when it first appeared in serialized form in a popular Soviet magazine in the late eighties. It was the heyday of "perestroika," when for the first time in 70 years Russians were enjoying the opportunity to speak freely about their troubled history. "Children of the Arbat" portrayed both the idealism of the generation building communism in the thirties, and the brutality and repression of the Stalin years that terrorized Soviet citizens. The magazine carrying the installments of "Children of the Arbat" usually sold out immediately, sometimes disappearing even before the news stands officially opened.

    This made-for-(Russian) TV version of the trilogy faithfully captures the mix of idealism, suspicion, and terror that permeates the novel. The main protagonist, Sasha Pankratov, comes across exactly as one would expect, I found the female lead, Varya, a little less convincing, appearing on occasion almost hysterical and too rough around the edges.

    In the almost two decades that have passed since the publication of the novel, much has changed in Russia, and the broadcast of this 15-part series did not cause anywhere near the sensation that the novel did in the eighties. That is certainly a good sign that Russia has become a more normal country, in which its historical legacy can be freely and openly discussed. In any case, the movie provides an excellent overview of a critical period in Soviet history.
  • Series cast summary:
    Chulpan Khamatova Chulpan Khamatova - Varya Ivanova unknown episodes
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