The Chekist

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The Chekist
Film poster
Directed by Aleksandr Rogozhkin
Written by Jacques Baynac
André Milbet
Starring Igor Sergeyev
Cinematography Valeri Myulgaut
Edited by Tamara Denisova
Release date
  • 1992 (1992)
Running time
91 minutes
Country Russia
Language Russian

The Chekist (Russian: Чекист) is a 1992 Russian drama film directed by Aleksandr Rogozhkin. It was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1992 Cannes Film Festival.[1] The film is currently not in distribution.

Piers Handling, director of the Toronto International Film Festival, said of the film:

"Rogozhkin eventually penetrates into the psychotic mind of the Chekist with a moment of sublime insight, reminiscent of Bertolucci's equally disturbing portrait of the fascist killer in The Conformist. The Chekist is an overwhelming cry in the face of such madness."[2]


The film is set during the Russian Civil War in the period of the Red Terror. In provincial Cheka routine work is taking place: leader Andrey Srubov and his assistants Ian Pepel and Isaac Katz read out a long list of enemies of the working people. These enemies are former noblemen, intellectuals, officials, military men, whose misery lies in their social origin. The sentence, regardless of the gender and age of the person is always the same - to be shot. Some of the condemned to death are people who truly did wage a struggle against the Soviet Union, but some of the poor wretches are people not guilty of anything.

The terrible conveyor of death operates in the basement: the prisoners are taken out of their cell, ordered to undress, five people are placed against the wall and shot in the head. The bodies are then dragged by feet through a special window, loaded into a truck and taken away elsewhere.

Head of Cheka Srubov describes the concept of the necessity of violence in the affairs of the Revolution. If ordinary executors simply take their revenge on the bourgeois with sadistic pleasure, enjoying the animal fear of victims, their pleas for mercy, then Srubov justifies the horrible bloodbath with certain public welfare. Pangs of conscience become so unbearable to Srubov that he just goes insane: it starts to seem to him that everything around is filled with blood.



  1. ^ "Tchekiste" [The Chekist]. Cannes Film Festival (in French). Retrieved 16 August 2009. 
  2. ^ "Rogozhkin". Retrieved 23 June 2015. 

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