Days of Eclipse

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Days of Eclipse
Film poster
Directed byAleksandr Sokurov
Written byYuri Arabov
Pyotr Kadochnikov
Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
Music byYuri Khanin (original score)
Vladimir Persov (sound)
CinematographySergei Yurizditsky
Edited byLeda Semyonova
Distributed byLenfilm
Studio Troitskiy Most
Prodimag (2005) (Spain, DVD)
Release date
  • 1988 (1988)
Running time
133 minutes
CountrySoviet Union
LanguageRussian Turkmen Italian

Days of Eclipse (Russian: Дни затмения) (or, The Days of Eclipse, Dni Zatmenija, Días de eclipse) is an award-winning 1988 Soviet film directed by Aleksandr Sokurov. The screenplay is by Yuri Arabov and Pyotr Kadochnikov based on a screenplay by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, which is in turn based on their novel Definitely Maybe (Billion years to the end of the world, Russian: «За миллиард лет до конца света»).


A recently qualified medical doctor, Dmitri Malyanov, has taken a posting to a remote and very poor part of Soviet Turkmenistan. On top of his day job as a pediatrician Malyanov is undertaking research into the effects of religious practice on human health. His research has drawn the politically incorrect conclusion that religious faith does indeed improve health. However, as he attempts to write up his thesis, various sorts of improbable, bizarre events take place one after another. Malyanov perceives that some force is preventing him from completing his research.


In the novel, the protagonist who works on research in astrophysics is similarly confounded by a mysterious force trying to interfere and impede the research. The movie is filmed using unusual cinematographic techniques. In a half-documentary manner, where black-and-white frames are mixed with color, Sokurov pictured the life of wretched town in Turkmenistan, sick children, psychiatric clinic and the Desert, which is populated with a mix of sounds in the background - radio retranslations, symphonic music and multilingual voices.


The film features a cast of non-professionals.

  • Aleksei Ananishnov as Malyanov
  • Eskender Umarov as Vecherovsky
  • Irina Sokolova as Malyanov's Sister
  • Vladimir Zamansky as Snegovoy
  • Kirill Dudkin as Gluchov
  • Aleksei Yankovsky as Snegovoy's Father
  • Viktor Belovolsky as Gubar
  • Sergei Krylov as Little Boy


External links[edit]