Vojna (2002) CD1
CTB Film Company
I'm Yermakov' lvan. And he was John.
So we're kind of namesakes.
We met in the summer of 2001 .
For two months I'd been locked up in the village of Verkhny lskhoi
by Aslan Gugaev.
Back then' none of our lot had heard of him.
His detachment wasn't that big.
There were three of us there.
Me' Fedka and a Jew - a commercial.
A businessman from Vladikavkaz. Called Semyon' I think. . .
Me and Fedka were sawing up wood when they brought them in on a truck.
There were another two of our guys with them . . .
You killed my brother!
Yes' I killed your brother! And a whole lot more!
I whipped your sorry black arses and I'll keep whipping them
because you're enemies. . .
Did they pay you well?
Don't kill me! Please!
I just arrived' I'm not guilty! Please!
My mum's all alone. . .
Look down !
- What's he want? - Something in English.
Take the bucket - it stinks!
- Who was shooting? - They killed two of ours.
Give me your hand.
Shit happens. . .
Take the jug.
It'll be us next!
I didn't like her at first - full of herself. Wouldn't even look at you.
I didn't understand that she was just embarrassed.
We all crapped in the same bucket.
And I thought ginger was a right weed.
In the hole' it's every man for himself -
you're always hungry and they beat you the whole time.
He wasn't too bad' though. He looked after her.
And from the start with me. . . because of my English' no doubt.
Back in Tobolsk I finished computer school
and in Chechnya I'd get the news by lnternet for Aslan.
. . . and a whole lot more besides.
I whipped your sorry black arses and I'll keep whipping them
because you're enemies. . .
Did they pay you well?
Don't kill me! Please! I just arrived' I'm not guilty! Please!
My mum's all . . .
I'm worn out. Can't get any relaxation. There's a war on . . .
When will it end?
When all the Russians will live in the North.
You're white. You've got the White Sea.
We're black. We've got the Black Sea.
Why did you kill the lads?
It took me three years to find that Lieutenant.
I paid thirty grand to get him.
He shot my brother.
I found him in Rostov.
He killed a lot more good M uslims besides. . .
And the youngster?
Who needs someone like that?
He goes off to get some vodka.
There's a war on' and he leaves his post.
Is that any way to carry on' lvan?
You're either a shepherd or a sheep.
Those who let themselves be skewered - they're the sheep.
There are people amongst you.
I saw one in jail near Virkhayansk.
A hardcore convict' strong' like a Chechen.
If people like him led Russia' you could win this war.
But you've got too few of them.
You're stupid and weak. And you're led by half -wits.
You've given back the Ukraine' Kazakhstan.
You've just given away half the country for free.
Soon the Chinese will take the Far East.
You're fighting us
while in Moscow I've got a hotel' three restaurants' four brigades
in Petersburg' Moscow and Samara.
I milk the Russians like cows
but we still get money out of the state budget.
Do you know. . .
why you fight badly?
You don't know?
Because you're not fighting for your Homeland !
You fight because you've been herded out here like a sheep.
I know my ancestors going back seven generations.
I'm a descendant of the M urid' Hadji Kazi.
A hundred and fifty years ago he was already cutting you lot up.
This is my land
and I'll clear it of unbelieving dogs
until there's not a Russian from here to Volgograd.
So' what are they writing about us on the lnternet?
The satellite's gone' we'll catch another.
Aslan' tell your men not to beat me round the head.
This is the lnternet' you've got to use your brains
and there's a lot in English.
And the foreigners asked if they could have a wash.
I'll pay! I'll pay!
In accordance with the Shariat
taking money from Jews for military actions
is considered legitimate.
And while you won't pay us
we will cut your fingers off.
I tried to translate what Aslan had said'
but John didn't understand.
So I just said they don't like Jews.
Can I have another cigarette?
He got it immediately about Jews'
but that it was all a put on for him' that they were getting him ready. . .
What did the Jew's seventy grand matter to Aslan?
They didn't mention a ransom to John for a month.
They beat one guy to frighten the others.
The main thing for them is to break a man' so that he'll pay the money himself.
And they certainly know how to break a man.
Then they took us away.
Where're they taking him?
You just worry about yourself.
Shut up' bitch !
- What's he want? - Something to drink.
He can wait.
Been in long?
Captain Medvedev. Give a proper report.
- What? - Give a proper report.
Take it easy!
Right' attention !
Who are you?
Captured on May 1 0th' 2001 ' during a battle on the road
from Alkhan Yurt to Urus Martan' while carrying supplies.
They're commercial. Actors from England.
They were doing a theatre tour in Georgia.
Well' they're actors. . .
We mustn't let things slip' lads. There's a war on.
Is it your back' Comrade Captain?
Contusion and shrapnel round the vertebrae.
Let me take a look. Fedka!
How did it happen?
How? We were on a transporter.
A rocket went straight through Kit' a guy in my platoon.
I only worked it out when I came round.
Whoever was inside the transporter bought it.
So we were lucky. . .
You may have been lucky. . .
But what about your platoon?
I got concussed just like you' Comrade Captain.
And the bullet's here. . .
How long had you served?
Two weeks to go before my tour was over.
Still wet behind the ears. His first year.
Captain Medvedev was a tough nut' no doubt about it.
Everyone worked that out straight away.
You can't break a guy like that' can't wear him down.
If we'd had more like him' what an army we'd have had !
We all felt his strength' his confidence.
He's lying there' can't even get up' but he's got this calm inside him.
And Margaret fell in love with him - I new straight away.
- I think we're somewhere here. - Here?
It seemed to me they took us further.
Well' I'm getting hungry.
She says you have to exercise. . .
Careful' careful . . .
Says they can't come up with two million' even if they sell everything.
Says the government won't pay.
They're in negotiations with the Russians.
He says they'll do everything.
Right' enough !
Same thing over and over for half an hour!
What's she to him?
He's not lying?
Ask him if he could get two million together.
Yes' he says he can.
Tell him the woman stays with me.
In exactly two months he gives me two million.
If he doesn't' the whole lot of us will fuck her
and then I'll cut her fucking head off.
Why're you using foul language? Allah forbids it.
Speaking Russian is the same as using foul language.
To Allah' all your words are the same. Translate.
I didn't believe they'd let us go.
It wasn't the Chechen way. Too smart for them.
And they like to play with you:
tell you you're going to be released.
Let you wash in the river.
- Comrade Captain ! - You know the address?
I'll do everything' if I get out before you.
I can't decide whether to let you go or not.
The baksheesh for you is rubbish.
They're paying nothing.
And who'll get on the lnternet for me?
I know you put the wrong address on the letter you wrote.
Alright' tell them about the Captain.
I'm tired - be a shame to kill him.
I paid fifty thousand for him.
If they don't let my nephew go' who'll give me that money back?
Tell them I'll wait another month and that's it.
Will he get the money together?
I think so. He wants to get married.
We're counting from today. He's got two months.
Or he won't have anyone left to marry.
Alright. Don't come back.
I won't let you go a second time.
How should he pass the money on?
If he wants to' he'll find a way.
Tell him to give his number and I'll phone.
Give him this. He can watch it later.
No' they're not taking us to Grozny.
No' definitely not to Grozny.
Don't get worked up. They'll stop the car. . .
take us out and shoot us. You know Aslan.
He let us go. I don't know why.
No one paid for us' that's for sure!
If it had been Khattab or Basaev' that I'd understand . . .
there's politics involved.
But who's Gugaev?
Maybe it was a trade -off with the local security service.
Someone told me it happens all the time.
The FSB swap a gangster' then get the credit.
They said they'd carried out a secret service mission
to free us. Well' the usual nonsense.
It didn't make any difference to me who did what.
Could I have some more water?
Yes' they should have.
No' they won't.
I don't know' cheap.
They don't pay a lot for a soldier.
We're not commercial'
just slaves really.
How much for a commercial?
There's a market in Shatoi. The prices go up and down there.
Buy one' order another. . .
Well' how do you 'order' a murder? Are you just off the moon?
But you're talking about gangsters!
Chechens are gangsters.
- All of them? - Yes.
That's the anger in you talking.
Well' you know best. Listen' can I have a cigarette?
We were slaves. We had to earn our food.
And what did you do?
Everything. In the fields' sawing wood. All sorts.
Was it hard?
Not really. Anything's better than sitting in the cellar.
Only the nutcases used to beat us.
They'd get high and have some fun kicking us.
We wanted more food. And there was no salt.
You coming to Petersburg?
No' I'm going home.
I want to be in time to get into the Linguistics University
on the interpreter's faculty. . .
You don't know any English' and the exams have finished.
My M um was at school with the rector.
And the military board will help.
M um said I have to be quick though.
Tobolsk' via Petersburg.
Listen' if you're ever in Nizhny' here. . .
Ivan' you know' I . . .
Alright' Fedka. Maybe we'll meet again . . .
Before going to the Medvedev family
I told everyone in Chechnya about the Captain
then managed to phone the lnterior M inistry.
Told the cops about Gugaev's nephew in prison.
Just the way Aslan wanted.
When I went to see the Medvedevs' I knew there was nothing doing.
They're good people' spoke with me' gave me tea.
I just worried about my socks making a stink. . .
- Please' help yourself. - Thank you.
And what's he doing there?
Nothing. Waiting for a prisoner exchange.
- Why don't they exchange him? - Mother!
The Chechen was sentenced to execution'
then the sentence was reduced. He's a danger to society'
so they won't to let him go' and it' s taking forever.
But why's it taking forever?
Mother' put the tea on.
Why take forever? Why keep a Chechen they. . .
wanted to execute anyway? I don't understand.
I always said about those men in their caps.
I never used to buy my oranges from them in the market.
Tell me' is he really in good health?
Yes. What can I say? Do I look healthy?
Well' he's healthier than me
and he asked me to tell you not to worry.
Asked me to tell . . . asked me to tell . . .
My Dad's a hero. He's defending our Homeland against gangsters.
He'll come back soon' and we'll go to the zoo like we used to.
And then I went home to Tobolsk. And John went to look for the money.
Ivan? ls it you?
I thought you were at the war!
Don't you remember me? I'm Simakov' Stepan.
- So' all over then? - What?
Well' the war!
We'll have to get them in ! I'll tell the lads.
- How's your dad doing? - What about my dad?
Well' he's in hospital' up on the hill.
Unfold it' and then put it through . . .
Nothing had changed at home. In a word' Siberia.
Two years had passed - it was like I'd never left.
Sliva still a bandit' same as he was at school.
His parents got him out of being conscripted.
It's a shame - would've seen the world' worked some things out.
Most of the people there haven't been further than Tyumen.
M um had aged a lot though' and Dad . . .
Hi' Zinka. My dad's here. . .
Ivan ! We saw you on TV!
Zin' my dad's here. . .
Have you seen Katya?
Zin' my dad's here!
Eh' yes' yes. . .
Why do I drink' son?
Because life's become boring.
I lived until I was about forty
and that was it.
M isery' all of it.
No love' son.
It's good that you were at war.
War makes a man of you.
And that's what you should be.
A man has strength. It's all held together by that strength.
I had strength' but it's gone.
If I could be up and on my way to war now!
Don't be angry with me about your mother
she's a good woman
but I've just fallen out of love with her.
You'll understand later.
if you fall out of love' walk away!
You can't live without love. You mustn't' son !
Everyone says they saw you on television' but I missed it.
It's no big deal . . .
To our brothers' Sapek' Uvar' Taran and Tolka
who are no longer with us.
They hadn't been at war. Our own Siberian lads killed them.
We all went to the same school. Some my age' some older.
I didn't know Taran at all' but Sashka Uvarov was a friend of mine.
Russian M inistry of lnternal Affairs
The position of the President of the Russian Federation' M r. Putin
is that we mustn't pay ransoms to terrorists for hostages.
So I apologize.
I wanted to work with computers - nothing doing.
You say you were in Chechnya' and they start scratching their chins.
'We're using new technologies here" they say.
So I got knocked back everywhere.
The military board were no use either.
I could get work loading trucks without them.
Ivan' let's get married.
Where will we live?
Dad will be out of the hospital soon' then what?
Ivan' you asked me to wake you !
I'm up Auntie Val !
Put the tea on.
- Why aren't you at work today? - Because it's Saturday.
I bought some good tea' 'Akbar' !
Aren't you from round here then?
'No -speaka -di -Russian'. . .
Ah' you want lvan !
Should have said' instead of mumbling away.
How did he get there? I don't know.
Doesn't speak a word of Russian.
Alright' in Moscow they put him on a plane' but in Tyumen?
He found the station' bought a bus ticket
then on the ferry' then he found me. Good going.
As soon as I saw him' I knew.
What was going to happen.
. . . into the mountains to hunt goats.
Let's see the documents.
And the cartridges?
As they should be by law' officer. They're stored separately.
Alright. Good day.
- Can we have our own compartment? - Not shy' are we?
We'll pay. . .
I can't make any promises.
Take Compartment Six for now and we'll see.
Anything you say' my lovely! I'll be hoping . . .
Be off with you' my 'lovely'.
Why did I go? Not for money' that' s for certain.
But why? I don 't know.
Maybe to get Aslan.
Probably because of the Captain though.
I asked our commander about him' I asked for help.
He's got connections from back in Afghanistan.
He said' 'What're you worried about' be happy you got out.
'lt's not your war' we'll manage without you.'
I got angry about it.
And I felt sorry for Ginger. Where'd he be without me?
And why not ride to Vladikavkaz and back for free?!
What were the gun and the ammunition for then?
But we were going to the Caucasus!
And the stuff was good' I could always use it for hunting.
And he was paying !
Hi' guys. I'm Alexander Matrosov! Where to?
I got it. I'll put the case away' alright?
This is John' and I'm lvan.
Guys' I'm Alexander Matrosov!
No free compartment' so I'll have to cramp your style.
Soon the scum will clear off. But' for now' I'll play host!
- Anything else? - Take it easy for the moment.
They're reliable guys. They're responsible'
you say the word' and that's it! No going back!
Of course' they're black -arsed scum'
but they deliver the goods bang on time and never screw you !
And you know some major players down there?
Come on' lvan ! ! I'm Alexander Matrosov!
Well' I might have some business for you' Matrosov.
Hey' scumbag !
Get us some more vodka' and get us some nibbles. . .
Look' skinny's conked out.
He was a funny guy' Alexander Matrosov.
He was buying heroin from the Chechens and taking it to Russia.
We got very drunk in the restaurant car.
I saw straight away he was a con -artist.
I didn't tell him anything' just checked him out. . .
Arriving in Vladikavkaz! Do you want the ticket receipts?
Hello? Can I speak to Alexander Kardanov?
They'd talked a lot of rubbish to John in Moscow.
There was no big shot ex-KGB guy who exchanges hostages.
The guy said he was an FSB Major.
He knew we were coming and was waiting.
When I met him I knew we'd landed in a right mess.
But what was I supposed to do - turn round and go home?
You were prepared to kill' even then?
Journalist' you go off to play pool back in Moscow.
What's your goal? To pocket some balls' in order to win.
Well' this is war' this is. . .
Sergeant' what're you getting so worked up for him about?
Comrade Major' it's not my money' so I couldn't care less.
But ten percent is steep. He hasn't got much as it is.
Gugaev knows how much we've got - any less and he won't let her go.
He'll either rape her or cut her ears off - I know.
And we're late - only four days left.
The ten percent isn't for me.
There's my people' the people in Chechnya.
It's a big operation - an illegal operation' Sergeant.
What if we said 50'000?
I wouldn't be sitting here' Sergeant. What are we haggling for?
You 've got the money with you?
Who carries that kind of money' Comrade Major?
What guarantees can you give?
Serious people in Moscow gave you my number' Sergeant'
and I don't give out IOUs.
You've no choice' Sergeant. Without me you're screwed' got it?
Day after tomorrow' we meet here. I'll bring the money.
There' s one condition - I go with you.
We'd got tails everywhere.
I noticed when I got our bags from the station.
Guys watching' gangster faces' harder than our Siberian guys.
They weren't looking for me - they didn't need me.
And John was in the tram. So the game was on. . .
Listen' where're you from?
Almost my neck of the woods. I'm from Tobolsk.
- In for much longer? - Five months.
- Conscript? - On a contract.
Been to Chechnya?
What do you think we're doing here?
What do you want?
I really need to get into Chechnya. Give us some help. . .
I'm here for the first time' we never went in from this side.
Always through Mozdok. I've got no idea here.
If I got over the border' I'd find my way from there.
Leave something behind over there?
I was captured over there.
I've been in civvies for a month' but I've got a debt to pay.
Tell me who I've got to talk to' and whatever I've got I'll . . .
- Well' what have you got? - What do you need?
What size do you take?
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