The Russians Are Coming - Contemporary Soviet Cinema

Shelly Isaacs
Movies / Arts & Letters

Course Description

Four award winning films, each revealing a face of Russian society at different points in its history, seen through the lenses of their finest contemporary directors.


  1. 12, 2007 - In a loosely based remake of 12 Angry Men, 12 jurors are struggling to decide the fate of a Chechen teenager who allegedly killed his Russian stepfather.
  2. Elena, 2011 - When a sudden illness and an unexpected reunion threaten a dutiful housewife's potential inheritance, she must hatch a desperate plan.
  3. Burnt by the Sun, 1994 - In this Academy Award winner, a respected Russian Colonel enjoying an idyllic summer discovers how tenuous life can be under Stalin.
  4. Hipsters, 2008 - While the Cold War heats up on the world stage, rebellious youth in 1955 Moscow wage a cultural battle against dismal Soviet conformity, reveling in forbidden Western ways.

About the Instructor

  • Shelly Isaacs is the founder and host for Cafe Cinematheque, where he shares his passion for film in venues throughout South Florida. Isaacs was a creative director/writer/producer and director in advertising, specializing in film, TV and radio promotion. He holds an MA in Media Ecology Studies from New York University, where he also taught graduate level courses in cultural studies. In 2009 he launched Cinematheque at Sea, making his program available on luxury cruises throughout the world.