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10 popular Russian films that are completely incomprehensible to foreigners



Domestic cinema is wonderful because it can be watched at any age, and the films will still remain understandable, dear, familiar to us. But have you ever tried to look at your favorite movie through the eyes of a foreigner? It turns out that our culture can be infinitely far from people who were born and raised in another part of the world, writes Here are a few reviews of foreigners about each of our popular paintings.

Photo: video frame YouTube / Cinema Concern "Mosfilm"

Irony of Fate or Enjoy Your Bath!

A romantic comedy about celebrating the New Year (and, of course, about New Year's miracles) does not at all look so romantic in the eyes of foreigners. For them, Zhenya Lukashin is practically a criminal who broke into someone else's house, and Nadya's behavior raises no less questions.

  • Why didn't Nadia call the police after finding a stranger in her house? And then, such a drunk person is physically unable to bounce back in 2-3 hours. © emailkristina / IMDb
  • It is very painful to watch such a beautiful woman worry about some kind of nerd. In addition, in the film, all bad habits are presented as absolutely normal for human nature. © AndreiPavlov / IMDb
  • Zhenya is a self-confident and tactless person, who, moreover, desperately wants to control everything. © miranda / Letterboxd


This is a light comedy about a young cook, Tosa, who never stands aside. But people from other countries did not understand our traditions. For example, why suddenly the main character drinks tea not from a cup, but the property she and her neighbors have in common.

  • At the beginning of the film, Tosya comes to a new home, which she has to share with other girls, and gets food and tea from a neighbor's bedside table. I looked and thought, “She's going to have serious problems! Who rummages in other people's things? " But then Tosya shook everything out of her backpack with the words: “Here! Use it! ”And the neighbors admitted that everything they have is common. That's what struck me. © Gregory Porter / Letterboxd
  • She drank tea straight from the saucer as if nothing had happened! © Marixander / Letterboxd
  • Technically, it's a comedy, but the whole movie I was worried about was how little Russian women respect themselves. © Mark Goldstein / Letterboxd

On the subject: Beautiful but unhappy: why the 3 brightest couples of Soviet cinema broke up

Gentlemen of Fortune

A hilarious comedy about Troshkin's adventures, like two drops of water similar to a famous criminal, did not seem funny to foreign audiences. Many jokes, in their opinion, are too full of national flavor and are understandable only to us.

  • I had watched old Russian comedies before, but there was nothing funny in this film for me. Perhaps for the Russians, it looks more fun. © Angel_Peter / IMDb
  • Basically, the film consists of a deliberate acting game, and a couple of moments makes you exclaim: "Wait, what ?!" © lee_eisenberg / IMDb
  • The plot is old-fashioned and seems to owe its style to Hollywood cinema from the 30s. © Leofwine_draca / IMDb

The Diamond Arm

Obviously, the abundance of songs in our cinema greatly confuses foreigners. Yes, and jokes, most of which are built around intoxicants, are perceived negatively.

  • All Soviet comedies exist in their own strange subgenre, where for no apparent reason someone suddenly starts singing. © Joe_ / Letterboxd
  • A spy crime with an impossible amount of farce and jokes about alcohol. True, charismatic actors save the day, but I still don't understand a good half of the jokes. © Alex Frith / Letterboxd
  • This film is not for a foreign audience. He is too Russian to seem funny to those who are not familiar with the realities of local life. The jokes are too ethnic to be understood by someone from the outside. © SMalamud / IMDb
Photo: video frame YouTube / Cinema Concern "Mosfilm"

Ivan Vasilievich

Foreign viewers decided: to understand all the jokes in this cult film, you need to understand the history of our country well. In addition, in foreign comedies, according to users, humor is generally of a slightly different kind.

  • "Where's the humor?" - any person who knows nothing about the history of Russia will ask. I love cinema, but I didn't understand even half of the jokes. But the creators of the tape are great because they have found a place for humor in a historical tragedy. © dsfeelgood / IMDb
  • This is just a strange musical comedy about time travel from the USSR. © Strackymandias / Letterboxd
  • The humor in the film is, of course, original, but not for everyone. And certainly not for residents of another country who are used to vulgar jokes and all that. © m_prime2003 / IMDb

Caucasian Captive, or Shurik's New Adventures

In all our films, we are used to hearing songs that later become our favorites. We even hum melodies from famous comedies under our breath while standing in the shower or getting ready for work. But the audience, far from our culture, is not used to such musicality.

  • Perhaps it's all about cultural differences, but the same melody played over a hundred times in the film is overkill. © avuman / Letterboxd
  • Much here seemed strange. For example, the fact that the kidnappers sing and dance in front of their victim while she eats. © solh / Letterboxd
  • How the hell did they get the ducks to moonwalk? © Kikomia / Letterboxd

Moscow does not believe in tears

In the end, as we know, Katerina finds her happiness in the person of George and meets him with the phrase "How long have I been looking for you." We are sincerely happy for her, but film lovers from other countries did not like her chosen one at all.

  • I can't believe I took 2,5 hours to see Katerina marry Gosha, this parody of a man! Katerina, I'm so sorry. © clara / Letterboxd
  • The film could easily be called "Moscow is Full of Fools," and Katerina deserves better. © julai / Letterboxd
  • Are audiences really expected to empathize with Gaucher? © Frank / Letterboxd

On the subject: Spectacular, but unreal: 12 movie deaths that could not happen in life

Love and Pigeons

For us, of course, there is nothing surprising in the fact that the state provided workers with vouchers to the resort. But foreigners were amazed by this, and many of them would not have refused such a trip.

  • A very strange movie. It's like cutting fragments from different movies. Characters who have been shown to be cool suddenly become hysterical, and village romantics slide into absurd militarism. © Lauri / Letterboxd
  • Do they need to serve in the army to get a ticket and go to the resort? © Pedro Natali / Letterboxd
  • Vacation at the expense of the state? I would go too! © Redmond Bacon / Letterboxd
Photo: video frame YouTube / Cinema Concern "Mosfilm"

Cruel Romance

This dramatic love story gave us the catch phrase "So don't get it to anyone!" We are sure that many of our compatriots shed tears over the picture, but, in the opinion of the foreign viewer, the picture is either too cruel, or too tearful.

  • I'm puzzled. It seems that I was not warned how sinister the plot is, right up to the very end. Or maybe I just looked inattentively ... © Bailey / Letterboxd
  • It looks like tears are the hallmark of any Russian woman. Well, you know, as if no woman would dare to call herself Russian if she had not tasted the bitterness of life. © zapiekanki / IMDb
  • This is the first Soviet film that I have seen. By my Western standards, the characters seemed simplistic and exaggerated, and the script was clichéd. To idolize a novel that is not destined to happen, and to be blind to all reasonable judgments - these are the main threads of the heroine's behavior in this story. © bankie_bhoy / IMDb


For most of us, Danila Bagrov is still a positive hero, because he is reluctantly drawn into the criminal world. His motives are noble, and he wants to sympathize and empathize, and the soundtrack of the Nautilus Pompilius group sets a melancholic tone and complements the picture. However, viewers in other countries turned out to be more categorical: for them the film looks too gloomy, and, to put it mildly, they are not enthusiastic about music.

  • There is no script here. Just a guy who is part of a criminal organization walks back and forth. © Andrew / Letterboxd
  • An utterly dark, bleak crime film. While it is entertaining, the plot does not justify all the abundance of violent and explicit scenes that are shown there. © Jonah Lilienthal / Letterboxd
  • The music is absolutely terrible. The worst music ever used in a movie, and the main character is generally a sociopath. © trochesset / IMDb

But do not be offended by foreign viewers. After all, how many people, so many opinions, and our favorite films do not become worse because someone did not appreciate them. What moments in foreign films were not very clear to you?

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