Yuri Arabov

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Yuri Arabov
Yuri Arabov.jpg
Yuri Arabov

(1954-10-25) October 25, 1954 (age 66)
OccupationScreenwriter, writer
Years active1978—current

Yuri Nikolaevich Arabov (Russian: Юрий Николаевич Арабов) (born 25 October 1954) is a Russian screenwriter, writer, poet and educator. He is known for his long-lasting collaboration with Alexander Sokurov. He is an Honored Artist of the Russian Federation (1999).


Yuri Arabov was born in Moscow into a mixed Russian-Greek family. His parents met in Tula, Russia, the native town of his father, but divorced in five years after Yuri's birth. He was raised by his mother, who belonged to the Greek diaspora of Crimea. In 1937 she moved to Moscow to study directing at VGIK under Sergei Eisenstein, and later worked at the Gorky Film Studio as an assistant director and a dubbing director.[1][2]

As a child Yuri took part in film dubbing. After the school he considered becoming an Orthodox priest,[3] but then decided to follow his mother's steps and entered screenwriting courses at VGIK led by Nikolai Figurovsky which he finished in 1980. During the studies he met Alexander Sokurov who became his close friend and a regular collaborator since then. By 2017 they have produced 12 feature films together. Their first movie — The Lonely Voice of Man — was finished in 1978. Despite Andrei Tarkovsky's approval, it was called «a propaganda of Russian idealism» and banned for nine years, released only in 1987.[1]

Same happened to their next film Mournful Unconcern: finished in 1983, it was released only in 1987. It was also nominated for the Golden Bear at the 37th Berlin International Film Festival.[4] After that Sokurov and Arabov produced a lot of critically acclaimed movies, most famous of them being the so-called «tetralogy of power» which includes Moloch (1999), Taurus (2001), The Sun (2005) and Faust (2011), a film that won the Golden Lion at the 68th Venice International Film Festival.

For his work on Moloch Yuri received the Best Screenplay Award at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival and the Best Script award at the 1999 Russian Guild of Film Critics Awards.[5] His screenplay for Taurus was also distinguished by the Best Script award at the 2001 Russian Guild of Film Critics Awards and the 2002 Nika Award.[5] He also received Nika Awards for both The Sun and Faust, as well as A Room and a Half — a semi-biographical film about Joseph Brodsky directed and co-written by Andrei Khrzhanovsky in 2009.[5]

Arabov created over 30 screenplays for both feature films and TV series. Besides Sokurov, he often works with Aleksandr Proshkin and his son Andrei Proshkin, both prominent Russian film directors. A member of the Union of Cinematographers of the Russian Federation. Since 1992 he has been also working as an educator at VGIK where he is currently serving as the head of the Screenwriting Faculty.[6][7]

Author of several novels, including Big-Beat (2003), Wonder (2009), Orlean (2011) and A Butterfly Encounter (2014), as well as a number of poetry books.





  • 2003 — Big-Beat — Moscow: Andrew's Flag, 400 pages. ISBN 5-9553-0024-4
  • 2009 — Wonder — Moscow: AST, 224 pages. ISBN 978-5-271-22128-6
  • 2011 — Orlean — Moscow: AST, 224 pages. ISBN 978-5-17-072648-6
  • 2014 — A Butterfly Encounter — Moscow: AST, 352 pages. ISBN 978-5-17-085777-7


  1. ^ a b Interview at the Silver Rain Radio, October 11, 2015 (in Russian)
  2. ^ Yuri Arabov: I'll die as soon as I find God, but it will be a blessing for me interview at the Orthodox Christianity and the World website, February 19, 2015 (in Russian)
  3. ^ Life Line. Yuri Arabov talk show by Russia-K, 2016 (in Russian)
  4. ^ The 1987 Program at the Berlin International Film Festival website
  5. ^ a b c Yuriy Arabov. Awards at IMDb
  6. ^ Screenwriting masters at the official VGIK website
  7. ^ Screenwriting courses at the official VGIK website

External links[edit]