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|Directed by||Dzhanik Fayziev|
|Produced by||Ilya Bachurin
|Screenplay by||Michael Alan Lerner|
|Story by||Dzhanik Fayziev|
|Music by||Ruslan Muratov|
|Edited by||Dennis Virkler|
|Distributed by||Twentieth Century Fox C.I.S.|
August Eighth (Russian: «Август. Восьмого», translit. Avgust. Vosʹmogo) is a 2012 Russian action drama film about the 2008 South Ossetia war. This is the third film that has been made on this subject.
The film tells the story of a young single mother who must make her way to South Ossetia to reunite with her son, whom she had sent before the war. The film is told from two perspectives: one shows the war through the mother's viewpoint, while the other shows it through the eyes of her son, as a science fiction story about fighting robots. As opposed to the preceding of the Olympus Inferno and 5 Days of War, this film was not advertised officially as "The Struggle for Truth," although it also was subsidized by the government. The film was recognized as a socially important project, and was filmed at the expense of the Russian State Fund for Social and Economic Support of National Cinematography.
Twentieth Century Fox C.I.S., a Russian distributor of 20th Century Fox distributed the film. The Russian premiere took place February 21st 2012 in theaters, and also November 4th of the same year on TV on Channel One. Dzhanik Fayziev dedicated this film to all women in his life who played any part in his upbringing.
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Kseniya (Svetlana Ivanova), a 23-year-old Muscovite pastry chef, is very busy with her new second-chance romantic relationship, while her 7-year-old son Artyom (Artyom Fadeev), hides in a world of fantasy to escape the pain of his parents separation. In his fantasies, he sees himself as a superhero, Kosmoboy, who, together with a kind robot (Edger Beroev) battles against the monster robot Mrakovlast (“Darklord”). On August 5th, 2008, everything changes. Kseniya gets a call from Artyom's father Ossetian Zaur (Egor Beroev), who serves as a peacekeeper in South Ossetia. Missing his son, he asks her to send the boy to his parents, who live in the village of Sidamonta, right next to the administrative border separating South Ossetia from the rest of Georgia. Zaur assures her that everything is perfectly safe. Kseniya, after some hesitation, agrees, because she wants to take a vacation in Sochi with her new boyfriend, a bank employee, Yegor (Aleksandr Oleshko), who can't find understanding with Artyom and Kseniya needs some private time with her new lover. But she agrees under a condition, that Zaur sends her son back immediately as soon as she asks him to.
On August 7th, after her son's departure, Kseniya learns from Internet articles that South Ossetia is turning into a conflict zone. She calls Zaur and demands that Artyom be brought back to Russia. Zaur, seeing his parents happy with their grandson, who they missed, and Artyom obviously enjoying his vacation in the Caucasus, tries to convince Kseniya that those Internet articles may not be true, but she refuses to listen to him. Kseniua, has a bad feeling about this and comes to see Yegor at his bank, but unexpectedly, he says that he does not want to get involved in her family problems and that "she's like a little, because she should be taught throughout". When they go into the elevator, Yegor tells her that he taught her to feel an orgasm, and he is sure that she does not fake it. To humiliate Yegor in response, Ksenia begins to repeat: "Yeah, Yegor, Yeah!" and repeats it each time louder until it becomes clear that she is faking an orgasm, a reference to the scene from When Harry Met Sally. Other people in the elevator silently begin to laugh and when the elevator doors open, Kseniya leaves and the humiliated Yegor continues to stand still. Ksenia flies to Vladikavkaz, where she takes a bus through the Roki tunnel into the pre-war South Ossetia. Suddenly, the bus is exposed to an ATGM attack. Kseniya and several other passengers miraculously survive.
Russian military reconnaissance unit assists in their evacuation. Among them is the commander of the reconnaissance Lyoha (Maxim Matveev). Kseniya persuades him to take her to Ossetian capital Tskhinvali and turns on the central square of Tskhinvali on a memorable night from 7 to 8 August 2008, when the city was hit by BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launchers. Kseniya manages to reach the refugee camp in Dzau. Along the way she calls Zaur, who is driving to Sidamonta to evacuate his parents and Artyom. They both decide to meet in Dzau. Unfortunately, Zaur's attempt to evacuate his parents and Artyom falls. When they sit down in his Jeep, he and his parents were killed by shells fired by the Georgian tank, and Artyom runs into deep shock from the scene. In Dzau, Kseniya waiting for them to come and calls Artyom on his mobile phone. Artyom, who had just regained consciousness after the explosion, picks it up, but being in a state of shock, only a whisper: "Mrakovlast was here... Mrakovlast killed all...". Realizing that nobody can help her, she decides to go into the war zone to save her son. Situation becomes complicated that Artyom has a slipping wound in his temple and he starts to be exposed to hallucinations because of a loss of blood, hiding everything is deeper in the world of his illusions. At the same time Kseniya and Zaur's friend Ilya (Khasan Baroyev) with Russian military convoy and journalists get ambushed (events based on real clash between staff convoy of 58th Russian Army and Georgian army) and Ilya dies killed by Georgian soldier. Ksenya is saved by Lyoha and his comrade, who observed attack on convoy as recon.
Lyoha's recon unit has assignment to assist Russian peacekeepers holding defence against Georgian army and evacuate refugees. Kseniya persuades Lyoha to take her along, since peacekeeper's base is not far from home where her son is hiding. En route to the base Lyoha appears to be smart and professional soldier: when Russian vehicles jump right in front of shooting Georgian tank, Lyoha is cold and counting from 1 to 7, because recharging time of tank gun is 6 seconds. On count seven, both Russian vehicles make sudden turn thus escaping tank's artillery fire. When recon unit reaches the base, Lyoha finds out that quantity of refugees is ten times more than initially reported and his unit simply has no transport to evacuate them all. The only solution is to move all refugees from peacekeeper's base still under attack and seek for transport. This will take 6–7 hours before Lyoha can assist Ksenya, and she decides to reach her son alone. Lyoha has no choice but accept it, provides Ksenia with flashlight, map and walkie-talkie and starts evacuation or refugees blocking line of Georgian fire with Russian tank which ammunition has run out (this episode also reported being based on real story). Refugees and Ksenya successfully evacuated from the base and separate, Kseniya running to save her son.
Ksenya luckily sneaked past small Georgian army unit, busy repairing one of their Jeeps and finds her son, but he is wounded and unable to walk. In despair, she returns to location of Georgian soldiers and steals one of their cars. Soldiers seeing one of their Jeeps escaping start to shoot, but it is too late to stop her. Kseniya picks up her son just seconds before Georgian soldiers appear nearby hunting for their stolen car. Trying to escape them Ksenya rushes with her car right in the middle of large Georgian army position. One of Georgian tanks shoots at invisible Russian positions, but starts to turn his main gun to fire at Ksenya's car as soon as they notice her. Ksenya recalls her experience of traveling with recon unit and counts to seven. On count seven she sharply turns the wheel, tank fires but misses her, destroying Georgian armored vehicle instead. Georgian positions are taking large field and Ksenya evidently going to be captured or shot, but at this moment Sukhoi Su-25 wing makes massive air strike on position of Georgian army and Ksenya is driving out of resulting chaos.
Feeling safety she stops the car but assaulted by Georgian soldier (Aleksandr Khoshabaev ) who wants to get her car to retreat from approaching Russian army. Kseniya explains him that her son is wounded and she had stolen Georgian Jeep to save him. She begs soldier to let her go, arguing that soldier's mother would do the same for him. Georgian soldier accepts her argument, though his slowly approaching and evidently wounded comrade shouts "just shoot her". Soldier explains that Kseniya will be immediately shot by Russians as soon as they will see approaching Georgian military vehicle. He proposes to get her as close as possible to Russian positions and she agrees. Soldier drives Jeep with Kseniya away from his wounded comrade who curses in response to his command "wait here". Soldier drops Kseniya in vicinity of approaching Russian tanks and returns, encouragingly signaling a honk and waving his hand. Kseniya walks over hilltop to approaching Russian tanks and leading tank stops right in front of her. Tank commander asks her if she speaks Russian and after she nods shortly demands her to get away from the road grumbling that having such tempo their tank will never reach Tbilisi. Ksenya just smiles, steps to the roadside and continues to walk towards masses of approaching Russian soldiers.
Her son is treated in the hospital and she is lying near him telling endless story about Cosmoboy and Kind Robot, but suddenly her son interrupts her and asking her to tell story about his father, not about robots. Later they wait for helicopter evacuating them to Russia and Lyoha finds them both, while they are waiting for boarding. Ksenya is happy to see him and asks about results of war. Lyoha shortly replies "The war is over. We won. Stopped in Gori". Both Ksenya and Artyom cheerfully say goodbye to Lyoha and board helicopter.
In the next scene answering machine in Kseniya's apartment is shown playing numerous messages from Yegor who says he is "missing her for the whole day that passed" and asking to excuse him. The last message however is from Lyoha who simply tells "Hi, Kseniya".
- Svetlana Ivanova as Kseniya
- Maksim Matveyev as commander of the reconnaissance Aleksyei "Lyokha"
- Konstantin Samoukov as Lieutenant Grigoryi "Grishka"
- Egor Beroev as Zaur/Kind Robot
- Aleksandr Oleshko as Yegor/obstetrician
- Artyom Fadeev as Artyom
- Khasan Baroyev as Captain Ilya (who was based on Denis Vetchinov)
- Vladimir Vdovichenkov as President of Russia
- Anna Legchilova as Kseniya's mother
- Aleksei Guskov as Kazbek Nikolaevich
- Gosha Kutsenko as Himself
- Estelle Raskin as foreign journalist
- Mitya Labush as journalist, killed in an armored personnel carrier
- Lidiya Velezheva as Aza
- Tyeimuraz Taniya as "controller" in the bus on Tskhinvali
- Vladimir Zaitsev as Russian Defense Minister
- Valeryi Kudashkin as Chairman of the FSB
- Tamara Gamgiya as Zaur's mother
- Lyeonid Khishba as Zaur's father
- Aleksandr Karamnov as Colonel peacekeeping forces Romanov
- Aleksandr Khoshabaev as Georgian soldier
- Kirill Pletnev as tanker
- Yekaterina Avdyeeva as Kosmoboy in the play
- Dzhanik Fayziev as Mrakovlast/director of the play
Even at the initial stage of the film Fayziev said that this film — "is the story of the events on a global scale, as shown through the prism of the fate and actions of ordinary people, whose main character encounters during her "adventure"". The central plot of the story is based on two true stories. The first is based on the story of Dzhanik Fayziev's friend, who dragged his ex-girlfriend from South Ossetia in August 2008 (both survived, but their love did not have a happy end). The second was based on Dzhanik Fayziev's girlfriend, who was a single mother with a son, who represented from himself the Angry Robot each time, when Fayziev tried to talk to him (Fayziev eventually realized that boy with the help of this Robot dissociated himself from all his mother's lovers). Fayziev, thinking up the plot, inspired by his favorite movies, Black Hawk Down and Saving Private Ryan.
The film was shot in the period from March to August 2011. Most of the scenes of South Ossetia were shot in Abkhazia and North Ossetia–Alania. The majority of the extras consisted of Abkhazians, but the characters, who speak in Ossetian, were played or were dubbed by North Ossetian actors.
The official trailer was created in Trailerhouse by Sundown Entertainment.
The premiere of the film took place in Moscow on February 17, 2012 at a cinema "Pushkinski". The All-Russia premiere took place on February 21, 2012. The premiere was dated for Defender of the Fatherland Day, because of which the film had very rigid competition. Though in the first week of distribution the film was in the lead at the box office among Russian films and collected more than 140,000,000 rubles (about 5,000,000 dollars) for the first weekend, "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance" kept the top position at the box office, earning about 240,000,000 rubles. In total, August Eighth netted about 10,000,000 dollars in Russian theaters, much less than the gross of Faiziyev's previous film, Turkish Gambit, which cost 4 million dollars but grossed 18 million dollars in Russian theaters.
The début of the film with English subtitles took place in Australia on September 1, 2012 under the title August 8th at the Russian Resurrection Film Festival 2012.
In Russia the film was released on DVD (Region 5) on 22 March 2012 and on Blu-ray (Region С) on 14 June 2012. Neither edition contains any subtitles. A French dub of the movie called War Zone was released on DVD and Blu-ray in France on 7 August 2013.
- Todd Rigney (2012-02-15). "Two Badass Trailers for the Russian Giant Robot Extravaganza August Eighth". BeyondHollywood.com. Retrieved 2012-02-16.
- Россиянам расскажут о "Войне трех восьмерок" (in Russian). Вечерняя Москва. 18 February 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-19.
- August Eighth trailer[permanent dead link] avsquad.com