Ischeznuvshaya Imperiya (Vanished Empire)
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Ischeznuvshaya Imperiya (Vanished Empire)
Love and youthful idealism are both put to the test as the Soviet Union begins to crumble in this drama from director Karen Shakhnazarov. In the early '70s, Sergei (Alexander Lyapin) is a Russian college student who proudly describes himself as a dissident, telling anyone who cares to listen that he wants to help bring democracy to the Soviet Union. Sergei's confident, outspoken manner has made him quite popular with the women on campus, much to the chagrin of his close friend Stepan (Yegor Baranovsky), who shares his political views but not his social skills. Sergei is dating Lyuda… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 75%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Shakhnazarov, who began his film career in the Soviet era and was about the age of his protagonists in '73, brings an authenticity to the material, as well as a certain wistfulness in his excellent re-creation of Brezhnev-era Moscow."
‑ G. Allen Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle
"Evocative period details and persuasive performances lend a poignant sadness to Karen Shakhnazarov's familiar, but well-told, coming-of-age tale."
‑ Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News
"Bland look at rebellious teens who experience the last days of the Soviet empire."
‑ Daniel Eagan, Film Journal International
"A nicely turned film about the crushing inevitability of change."
‑ Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times
"[Director] Shakhnazarov came of age during the Soviet Union's Communist days and brings firsthand experience to the Brezhnev-era The Vanished Empire."
‑ V.A. Musetto, New York Post
"A Russian film about a self-absorbed youth who is driven by an insatiable yearning to have whatever he wants."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"In the gray old days of Brezhnev and detente, Russian college students shimmy to "Sugar, Sugar" and shell out for black-market Levis, unaware that these are the best days of their lives"
‑ J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader
"In The Vanished Empire, Mr. Shakhnazarov, a prolific and under-recognized Russian filmmaker with a surrealist touch, views the collapse of the Soviet Union as an inevitable conflation of the younger generation's natural impulse to reject the past."
‑ Stephen Holden, New York Times
"The lost-world aura of the film's clumsy youths provides an inexorable dig into Brezhnev-era diffidence."
‑ Bill Weber, Slant Magazine
More reviews for Ischeznuvshaya Imperiya (Vanished Empire) on Rotten Tomatoes