East/West (2000) - Rotten Tomatoes

East/West (2000)

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Movie Info

French director Regis Wargnier's fifth feature film is a romantic period drama which is also a tribute to the victims of a tragic Stalinist episode. In June 1946, Stalin launched a major propaganda campaign aimed at Russians who had settled in the West, offering them amnesty and an opportunity to be involved in the postwar restructuring of the USSR. Many people who believed Stalin and returned home were executed, interned, or subjected to repression. The protagonist of Est-Ouest, Alexei Golovin (Oleg Menshikov), takes his young French wife Marie (Sandrine Bonnaire) and son Serioja with him on the long journey back to his native land that he has missed so much. On the board of the steamship taking them to Odessa, people like them celebrate the new life that they anticipate. However, reality strikes when they reach shore. Many people are immediately executed or sent to work camps. Alexei is spared to use his skill as an accomplished doctor. He is sent to Kiev to work in a dispensary and live in a communal apartment. Alexei accepts his fate but Marie dreams of escaping to freedom. Opportunity comes her way when she meets Gabrielle Develay (Catherine Deneuve), a famous French actress on tour, passing through Kiev. Tension mounts as the relationship of Alexei and Marie is put to test. For the script of this co-production between France and Russia, Wargnier had three other collaborators: Louis Gardel, who had previously collaborated with Wargnier on Indochine; Sergei Bodrov, a well-known Russian filmmaker best-known for his award winning S.E.R. and The Prisoner of the Mountains; and Azeri scriptwriter Rustam Ibragimbekov, best remembered for his scripts of Nikita Mikhalkov films. ~ Gönül Dönmez-Colin, Rovi

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Cast

Bogdan Stupka
as Col. Boyko
Tania Massalitinova
as Alexandrovna
Rene Feret
as French Ambassador
Ruben Tapiero
as Serioja (age 7)
Erwan Baynaud
as Serioja (age 14)
Daniel Martin
as Turkish Captain
Hubert Saint-Macary
as Embassy Advisor
Joel Chapron
as Theatre Interpreter
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Critic Reviews for East/West

All Critics (31) | Top Critics (6)

Offering fine, if not the most eye-pleasing, production values and convincing acting, East-West and its important theme deserve attention.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Film Journal International

A true story that reminds us what we so easily forget - to cherish the freedom that enables our souls to bloom and to flourish.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Spirituality and Practice

The horrifying historical background has been transformed into a conventional melodrama, and much of it has a bogus feel.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
One Guy's Opinion

Too often murky and with too many characters, the film works best when the director focuses attention firmly on the leads and their actions.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Internet Reviews

Recommended only for the most devoted soap fans, 'East-West' earns our early nominations both for Fuzziest-Thinking Director and for Most Pretentious Film of the Year.

January 1, 2000
culturevulture.net

Audience Reviews for East/West

Though the story plot is shaky with its sudden flash-forward every 10 to 30 minutes, I find the movie "Est - Ouest" and its theme of police state surveillance during the Soviet era to be relevant to today's world, especially after the recent discovery that everyone's internet activities are being monitored. "Est - Ouest" is a cautionary tale for our privacy-less age.

Thomas Andrikus
Thomas Andrikus

East/West is an interesting examination of 1946 Russia. A married couple immigrate back to Russia to discover they're carefully being watched by the secret police. The wife makes it her mission to leave the country, but her husband is stopping her from doing so. The film is well shot, carefully acted and evenly paced. Its not 100% fact, but its a very engaging film that's wide scope and epic.

Scott Perry
Scott Perry

I didn't expect to but I actually enjoyed this movie. I'm surprised I was able to sit and read subtitles for 2 hours. It got kind of jumpy near the end with the "One month later....6 years later....3 months later..."

Brandon Mauro
Brandon Mauro

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