Aleksei Balabanov

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Aleksei Balabanov
Aleksei Balabanov (1).jpg
Born(1959-02-25)25 February 1959
Died18 May 2013(2013-05-18) (aged 54)
OccupationFilm director
Years active1989 – 2012

Aleksei Oktyabrinovich Balabanov (Russian: Алeксeй Oктябpинoвич Балабанoв; 25 February 1959 – 18 May 2013)[1] was a Russian film director, screenwriter, and producer, who shot mostly arthouse pictures but gained mainstream popularity with the crime drama Brother (1997) and its more action-oriented sequel, Brother 2 (2000), both of which starred Sergei Bodrov, Jr. as Danila Bagrov. Brother was successful both at the box office and in video copies, achieving wide popularity in Russia.[2] Later, however, Balabanov became better known for his films Cargo 200 (2007) and Morphine (2008).[3] A hugely controversial figure, Balabanov was often accused of both Russian nationalism (Brother 2, War) and Russophobia (Cargo 200, The Stoker), as well as general misanthropy. Due to his personal and political controversy, grotesque style, dark humour, shocking naturalism, genre deconstruction, and balancing between art cinema and mainstream he was often compared to Lars von Trier, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Coen brothers, and Takeshi Kitano.


Aleksei Oktyabrinovich Balabanov was born on 25 February 1959, in Sverdlovsk (now Yekaterinburg).[4]

In 1981 Balabanov graduated from Translation Department of the Gorky Pedagogical University of Foreign Languages [ru].[4] He then served in the Soviet Army as an officer-interpreter.[4] After his discharge, from 1983 to 1987 he worked as an assistant film director at Sverdlovsk Film Studio.[4] Balabanov shot his first film in 1987, in the Urals. The script of the film was written overnight. This low-budget work was filmed in a restaurant. Later Balabanov studied at the experimental workshop "Auteur Cinema" (Russian: Авторское кино) of the High Courses for Scriptwriters and Film Directors, graduating in 1990.[4] In 1994 Balabanov together with Sergey Selyanov and Viktor Sergeyev founded the production company CTV.[2][5]

Balabanov died on 18 May 2013 of a heart attack.[4][5][6] "At his death, he was planning to make a film on Stalin, portraying him as a godfather of crime."[4] He and his wife, Nadezhda Vasilyeva, a costume designer, had two sons.[4]


  • Florian Weinhold (2013), Path of Blood: The Post-Soviet Gangster, His Mistress and Their Others in Aleksei Balabanov's Genre Films, Reaverlands Books: North Charleston, SC.


  • Me Too (Я тоже хочу) (2012) – Aleksei Balabanov was awarded the "Best Director" award for this film at the Saint Petersburg International Film Festival
  • The Stoker (2010 film) [ru] (Кочегар) (2010)
  • Morphine (Морфий) (2008)
  • Cargo 200 (Груз 200) (2007)
  • It Doesn't Hurt Me (Мне не больно) (2006)
  • Zhmurki (Жмурки) (2005)
  • War (Война) (2002)
  • The River (Река) (2002)
  • Brother 2 (Брат 2) (2000)
  • Of Freaks and Men (Про уродов и людей) (1998)
  • Brother (Брат) (1997)
  • Pribytiye poyezda (1995) (segment "Trofim")
  • The Castle (Замок) (1994)
  • Happy Days (Счастливые дни) (1991)
  • From the History of Aerostatics in Russia (О воздушном летании в России) (1990)
  • Nastya and Yegor (Настя и Егор) (1989)
  • I don`t have friend or One step beyond (У меня нет друга, или One step beyond) (1988)
  • There used to be another time (Раньше было другое время) (1987)


  1. ^ "Russian cult film director Alexei Balabanov dies". BBC News. 18 May 2013. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
  2. ^ a b The Imperial Trace : Recent Russian Cinema: Recent Russian Cinema. Oxford University Press. 2009. p. 220. ISBN 0199710546.
  3. ^ "Russian cult film director Balabanov dies". Herald Sun. 19 May 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "Aleksei Balabanov Russian Film Director Dies at 54". New York Times. 21 May 2013. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
  5. ^ a b Прощание с кинорежиссером Алексеем Балабановым в Петербурге прошло тихо и скромно — Первый канал
  6. ^

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