Synopsis by Mark Deming
Political rivals, divided by a bloody war, are forced to come to terms with one another in this drama, which was adapted from Leo Tolstoy's short story "Prisoner of the Caucasus." In Chechnya, two Russian soldiers, nervous rookie Vania (Sergei Bodrov, Jr.) and hardened veteran Sasha (Oleg Menshikov), are captured by Muslim forces. Abdul-Murat (Dzhemal Sikharulidze), the leader of the village where the soldiers are held, also has a son in the war, who is being held as a prisoner of war by the Russians. Abdul-Murat demands the release of his son in exchange for sparing Vania and Sasha, and a level of understanding and respect begins to grow between the Russians and their captors. Kavkazsky Plennik, released in the U.S. as Prisoner of the Mountains, received both Oscar and Golden Globe nominations as Best Foreign Language Film of 1997.
war, ambush, enemy, friendship, hostage, imprisonment, soldier, survivor