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 Isaccs is founder and host for Cafe Cinematheque, available at many venues throughout South Florida, where he shares his passion for International Cinema. Previously he enjoyed a career as a creative director/writer/producer and director in advertising, specializing in film, TV and radio. Shelly holds an MA in Media Ecology Studies from New York University, where he also taught at the graduate level in Cultural Studies. In 2009 he launched Cinematheque at Sea, where audiences can enjoy his programs on luxury cruises throughout the world.