Lost in Siberia

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Lost in Siberia is a 1991 film which was an Anglo-Russian co-production. It was shot entirely in Russia, either on location or at Mosfilm Studio. The post production was started at Mosfilm Studio and completed in London.

Ben Brahms, the producer, also produced Assassin of the Tsar, a film starring Malcolm MacDowell and Oleg Yankovsky.

The film follows Andrei Miller, an English archaeologist played by Anthony Andrews, as he gets arrested while doing a special assignment for the Shah of Iran. Mistaken for an English spy with the same name, he gets sent to a labor camp. On the way he meets a Japanese prisoner who speaks some English. He testifies to the military officer that he is totally innocent and asks him to contact the royal family. Most of the movie is a very realistic and ugly picture of the terrible plight of prisoners in Siberia during the Stalin years. Human life has absolutely no value. The only place he finally finds human kindness is when he is dying and is sent to the hospital. A romance develops between him and the camp's doctor, which attracts the anger of the camp's chief who is hoping to marry Anna, the young blond female doctor. Miller gets sent to one of the infamous Kolyma labour camps, and the camp's chief becomes even more evil and hateful towards all the prisoners left in his command. In an ambiguous ending, word comes to the camp that the Shah of Iran and his wife are asking that he be freed. he is released and goes back to his pleasant life, or that is just a delusion that he has while dying of cold and hunger. (Luis Bunuel would have loved this ending.) It was directed by Aleksandr Mitta, who had directed many blockbusters in Russia and later emigrated to the United States.

The film was Britain's entry to the Cannes Festival's competition in 1991.