12 (2007 film)

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12
12 (2007 film).jpg
Directed by Nikita Mikhalkov
Produced by Nikita Mikhalkov
Leonid Vereschtchaguine
Written by Reginald Rose
Nikita Mikhalkov
Alexander Novototsky-Vlasov
Vladimir Moiseenko
Starring Sergei Makovetsky
Nikita Mikhalkov
Sergei Garmash
Valentin Gaft
Alexei Petrenko
Yuri Stoyanov
Music by Eduard Artemyev
Cinematography Vladislav Opelyants
Distributed by TriTe
Release dates
  • 7 September 2007 (2007-09-07) (Venice)
  • 20 September 2007 (2007-09-20)
Running time
159 minutes
Country Russia
Language Russian, Chechen
Budget $2.5 million
Box office $7.5 million

12 is a 2007 crime film by Russian director and actor Nikita Mikhalkov. Mikhalkov was awarded the Special Lion at the 64th Venice International Film Festival for his work on the film, which also received an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.[1] It is an adaptation of Reginald Rose's play Twelve Angry Men and a remake of Sidney Lumet's film 12 Angry Men.

Plot[edit]

The jury decides whether a young Chechen boy is guilty of the murder of his stepfather, a Russian military officer. Initially it seems that the boy was the murderer. However, one of the jurors (Sergei Makovetsky) votes in favour of acquittal. Since the verdict must be rendered unanimously, the jurors review the case, and one by one come to the conclusion that the boy was framed. The murder was performed by criminals involved in the construction business. The discussion is repeatedly interrupted by flashbacks from the boy's wartime childhood.

In the end the foreman states that he was sure the boy did not commit the crime but he will not vote in favour of acquittal since the acquitted boy will be subsequently killed by the same criminals. In addition, the foreman reveals that he is a former intelligence agency officer. After a brief argument, the foreman agrees to join the majority. Later the foreman tells the boy that he will find the murderers.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

The movie received mixed critical opinion in Russia and abroad. The Venice Film Festival jury defined the movie as "confirmation of his [Mikhalkov's] mastery in exploring and revealing to us, with great humanity and emotion, the complexity of existence".[1] Russian president Vladimir Putin together with the film crew, Chechnya's president Ramzan Kadyrov and Ingushetia's president Murat Zyazikov watched the film in Putin's residence in Novo-Ogarevo. After the screening Putin remarked that the film "brought a tear to the eye".[2]

On the other hand, opposition journalist Zoya Svetova labeled the film as pro-Putin, pointing out that the head juror is a secret service officer,[3] while a juror, supposedly representing a Russian liberal, resembles Russian opposition politician Valeriya Novodvorskaya. Another juror (a television producer), is seen as a caricature of Russian producer Dmitry Lesnevsky.[3]

Awards[edit]

On 8 September 2007, the film received a special Golden Lion for the "consistent brilliance" of its work and was praised by many critics at the 64th Venice International Film Festival. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.[4]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Official Awards at the 64th Venice Film Festival". www.labiennale.org. Archived from the original on 2008-04-17. Retrieved 2007-12-12. 
  2. ^ Isayev, Ruslan (2007-11-06). "Mikhalkov's film "12" screened in Moscow and Chechnya". Prague Watchdog. Retrieved 2008-10-31. 
  3. ^ a b Svetova, Zoya (2007-10-19). "12 as Putin's apology" (in Russian). EJ.ru. Retrieved 2007-12-12. 
  4. ^ "80th Academy Awards Nominations Announced" (Press release). Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 2008-01-22. Archived from the original on 27 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-22. 

External links[edit]