Bastards (2006 film)

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DVD cover
Directed byAleksandr Atanesyan
Written byAleksandr Atanesyan (co-writer)
Vladimir Kunin
StarringAndrey Panin
Andrey Krasko
Sergei Rychenkov
Music byArkady Ukupnik
CinematographyDmitry Yashonkov
Edited byTchavdar Georgiev
William S. Scharf
Release date
2 February 2006
Running time
94 minutes
LanguageRussian, German
Budget$2.5 million

Bastards (Russian: Сволочи, Svolochi) is a 2006 Russian war film.


In the Soviet Union, 1943, a group of teenage convicts are secretly trained for a guerrilla mission to stop the actions of a German army group called "Edelweiss".

Plot summary[edit]

A "Hitler Jugend" kind of story, set in the Soviet Union during the Second World War. Year 1943. Colonel Vishnevetskiy is released from prison to organize a school of military training for saboteurs. Students come from prisons and correction colonies; these are 14–15 years old criminals who nobody will even look for. After severe training they are sent to destroy a German oil depot deep in the Carpathians. Being lost high in the mountains and being on the edge of life and death, you still can make a choice: to remain a bastard or become a hero for a country that doesn't want you.


The film's release caused massive controversy in Russia, where some deemed it "state-supported anti-Soviet propaganda".[1] The plot for the film, written by Kunin, involved a story of teenagers with a criminal background who were caught by the NKVD during the Great Patriotic war, then trained as saboteurs in special schools and thrown into the German rear to face a certain death.[1]

After the film was shown in Russia, the Federal Security Service responded with a press-release, stating that archives of security services of Russia and Kazakhstan do not have any documents confirming the existence of "kid saboteur schools", and that there are no archive documents about missions to send saboteur groups consisting of teenagers into the adversary's rear. Although they did state that there are archive documents evidencing the use of kids in saboteur purposes by special services of Nazi Germany.[2]

While the advertising campaign of the film claimed it was based on real accounts, after the controversy arose both the writer and the director confessed the plot was mere fiction.[3]

While the film won the MTV Movie Awards, Russia for 2007, the famous director Vladimir Menshov refused to hand over the award:

Dmitry Puchkov commented on the film making:

Puchkov also commented on the information that Russian school students were obligated to watch this film: "Have our children to know the history of the country? Well, now they know it: if anything happens, they would be caught and sent to face certain death."[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Dmitry Puchkov (20 April 2007). "About director Menschov at MTV ceremony" (in Russian). Retrieved 2015-04-03.
  2. ^ "In relation to the broadcast of the fiction film 'Svolochi'" (in Russian). Federal Security Service. 1 February 2006. Retrieved 2015-04-03.
  3. ^ Alexander Boyko (3 February 2006). "'Svolochi' director confessed it is fiction". Komsomolskaya Pravda (in Russian). Retrieved 2015-04-03.
  4. ^ "Presenter refuses to reveal MTV Russia film winner". ABC Online. 22 April 2007. Retrieved 2015-04-03.

External links[edit]