Aleksandr Askoldov

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Aleksandr Askoldov
Born Aleksandr Yakovlevich Askoldov
(1932-06-17) 17 June 1932 (age 85)
Moscow, USSR
Occupation Film director

Aleksandr Yakovlevich Askoldov (Russian: Александр Яковлевич Аскольдов; born 17 June 1932) is 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.


Commissar was shot in the political climate of post-Khrushchev Thaw. From the outset of the production, Goskino censors forced Askoldov to make major changes: 1967 was the year of the 50th anniversary of 1917 October Revolution and the events were to be presented in the Communist Party-mandated style of heroic realism.

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.[1] 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,[2] and four professional Nika Awards (1988).


  1. ^ "Commissar-(A)". Retrieved 2015-03-21. 
  2. ^ "Berlinale: 1988 Prize Winners". Retrieved 2011-03-05. 

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