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A selection of the best film and television adaptations of Russian novels

Russian adaptations of great Russian novels are a great way to get a truly Russian take on Russian classics.

This article from our archives was first published on RI in June 2015

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

Russian literature is one of the great cultural treasures of mankind.

However, it is not always well translated into Western languages. Westerners tend to import their ideas into Russian novels, westernizing them in a way that seriously distorts them.

A great way to get a Russian take on Russian literature is to watch Russian movies or TV adaptations of Russian novels. They are always excellent and often exceptional and can be easily obtained in DVD format from Amazon. Some of these adaptations can also be viewed for free on the Internet, including on Youtube.

Here is a brief and very incomplete selection:

  • And Calm Flows the Don (1957)
  • The Lady with the Little Dog (1960)
  • War and Peace (1967)
  • Anna Karenina (1967)
  • Uncle Vanya (1970)
  • Crime and Punishment (1970)
  • Unfinished piece for mechanical piano (1977)
  • Oblomov (1979)
  • Heart of a Dog (1988)
  • The Idiot (2003)
  • The Master and Margarita (2005)
  • The Karamazov Brothers (2009)

There is also a very interesting television adaptation of Doctor Zhivago (2006) which makes an interesting contrast to the famous 1965 David Lean film.

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

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