Voina (2002)

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Chechen guerilla leader Aslan (Georgi Gurgulia) holds captive two touring actors, John (Ian Kelly) and his fiancée, Margaret (Ingeborga Dapkunaite), along with an injured Russian Captain Medvedev (Sergei Bodrov Jr.) and his sergeant, Ivan (Alexei Chadov). Aslan sets John free to return to Britain and Ivan free to return to Russia; however, he informs John that he must raise ransom money or else Margaret will be gang-raped and killed. John tries frantically to raise the necessary funds, but can only get a fraction of what he needs; meanwhile, he agrees to document his life with a digital camera to make more money. He contacts Ivan for help and they cross the Caucasus and return to Chechnya with a mission to rescue Margaret and Captain Medvedev.

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Critic Reviews for Voina

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Audience Reviews for Voina

As hostages, English actors John(Ian Kelly) and Margaret(Ingeborga Dapkunaite) are introduced to their captor, Aslan(Giorgi Gurgulia), a Chechen warlord, when he brutally kills two Russian soldiers in front of them. At least, Ivan(Aleksey Chadov) makes himself useful around the compound by keeping Aslan's internet connection up and running which gets him better accommodations than Captain Medvedev(Sergey Bodrov). Whether that also has anything to do with Ivan being released with John so he can get Aslan two million pounds in two months before he rapes and kills Margaret is another matter. "War" is not only the rare movie to have any kind of comment on the Chechen War(perhaps even rarer in Russia) but also does so in very pointed fashion. But those insights come very late in the movie that takes the very scenic route in getting there to subvert its Rambo like plotting after again showing how easy it is to depict cruelty on film. Not helping matters in the least is how much a nincompoop a John is when clueless would have worked perfectly well in symbolizing the west's attitude towards this deadly conflict. And why actors? Wouldn't have aid workers been much more appropriate for the area?

Walter M.
Walter M.

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