Aleksandr Askoldov

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Aleksandr Askoldov
Aleksandr Yakovlevich Askoldov

(1932-06-17)17 June 1932
Died21 May 2018(2018-05-21) (aged 85)
OccupationFilm director

Aleksandr Yakovlevich Askoldov (Russian: Александр Яковлевич Аскольдов; 17 June 1932 – 21 May 2018[1]) was a Soviet Russian actor and film director. He graduated from the Gorky Literary Institute. After finishing the advanced directing course he directed his first film, Commissar (1967). The film was banned for more than 20 years and put an end to his career as a director in the USSR.


The montage of Komissar coincided with the end of the Six-Day War, and since Askoldov refused to change the ethnic origin of the Jewish family, he condemned himself to official ostracism. After making the movie, Askoldov lost his job, was expelled from the Communist Party, charged with social parasitism, exiled from Moscow and banned from working on feature films for life. He was told that the single copy of the film had been destroyed.[2] Mordyukova and Bykov, major Soviet movie stars, had to plead with the authorities to spare him of even bigger charges. The film was shelved by the KGB for twenty years.

In 1986, due to glasnost policies, the "Conflict Commission" of the Soviet Film-makers Union recommended the re-release of the movie but Goskino refused to act. After a plea from Askoldov at the Moscow Film Festival, when the dissolution of the Soviet Union was imminent[citation needed], the film was reconstructed and finally released in 1988.

The film won the Silver Bear - Special Jury Prize at the 38th Berlin International Film Festival in 1988,[3] and four professional Nika Awards (1988).


  1. ^ Richard Sandomir: Alexander Askoldov, Whose Banned Film Was Found, Dies at 85, The New York Times, June 6, 2018. Retrieved 2018-12-09.
  2. ^ "Commissar-(A)". Retrieved 2015-03-21.
  3. ^ "Berlinale: 1988 Prize Winners". Retrieved 2011-03-05.

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