Netflix Loves Russia's Beloved Sergei Bodrov, Jr.


Netflix Loves Russia's Beloved Sergei Bodrov, Jr.
Sergei Bodrov, Jr., on the transformer substation next to Alexander Nevsky Monastery in St. Petersburg. Amanda Shirnina

Sergei Bodrov, Jr. was one of the first Russian actors I knew about. Around 1999, my local Fenton, Michigan, Blockbuster had Burnt by the SunEast/West, and Brother on the shelves for a languishing Russophile teenager who had no access to the sounds of the Russian language. Thus, my first three Russian actors were Nikita Mikhailkov, Oleg Menshikov, and Sergei Bodrov, Jr. The latter, who died shortly after I began to be aware of him in 2002, is in the news again. The Brother (Brat) cult film franchise in which Bodrov, Jr. stars is now on Netflix.

After only one week on Netflix, Brat has entered the service's Top 10 list of most-watched films. Everyone wants to see 1990s Russian gangsters.

There were some concerns about how racist and racy phrases from 1990s gangster culture would be translated into English subtitles, including a major scandal about a short but important phrase and how Netflix translated it.

Bodrov, Jr. (he is "Jr." as his eponymous father is a famous film director), is generally respected throughout Russia as a class act. Certainly his tragic premature death on set at age 30 strengthened that legacy. His image has graced a transformer substation next to Alexander Nevsky Monastery in St. Petersburg since 2014, as seen in the photograph above.

You Might Also Like

A History of Oscar and Russian Films

A History of Oscar and Russian Films

The first Russian movie to win an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film was the documentary Rout of the German Troops near Moscow (1942). Since then, five Russian films have won this honor.
War Without Peace
  • February 01, 1997

War Without Peace

A review of Sergei Bodrov's film, "A Prisoner of the Caucasus," starring Oleg Menshikov.
The Valley of the Dead
  • March 01, 2021

The Valley of the Dead

A severe, remote valley in Ossetia inters the remains of one of Russia’s most revered film stars... and the mingled bones of countless ancients.
Like this post? Get a weekly email digest + member-only deals

Some of Our Books

Woe From Wit (bilingual)

Woe From Wit (bilingual)

One of the most famous works of Russian literature, the four-act comedy in verse Woe from Wit skewers staid, nineteenth century Russian society, and it positively teems with “winged phrases” that are essential colloquialisms for students of Russian and Russian culture.
The Little Humpbacked Horse

The Little Humpbacked Horse

A beloved Russian classic about a resourceful Russian peasant, Vanya, and his miracle-working horse, who together undergo various trials, exploits and adventures at the whim of a laughable tsar, told in rich, narrative poetry.
Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

A book that dares to explore the humanity of priests and pilgrims, saints and sinners, Faith & Humor has been both a runaway bestseller in Russia and the focus of heated controversy – as often happens when a thoughtful writer takes on sacred cows. The stories, aphorisms, anecdotes, dialogues and adventures in this volume comprise an encyclopedia of modern Russian Orthodoxy, and thereby of Russian life.
Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

This astonishingly gripping autobiography by the founder of the Russian Women’s Death Battallion in World War I is an eye-opening documentary of life before, during and after the Bolshevik Revolution.
Russia Rules

Russia Rules

From the shores of the White Sea to Moscow and the Northern Caucasus, Russian Rules is a high-speed thriller based on actual events, terrifying possibilities, and some really stupid decisions.
White Magic

White Magic

The thirteen tales in this volume – all written by Russian émigrés, writers who fled their native country in the early twentieth century – contain a fair dose of magic and mysticism, of terror and the supernatural. There are Petersburg revenants, grief-stricken avengers, Lithuanian vampires, flying skeletons, murders and duels, and even a ghostly Edgar Allen Poe.
Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod is a mid-sized provincial city that exists only in Russian metaphorical space. It has its roots in Gogol, and Ilf and Petrov, and is a place far from Moscow, but close to Russian hearts. It is a place of mystery and normality, of provincial innocence and Black Earth wisdom. Strange, inexplicable things happen in Stargorod. So do good things. And bad things. A lot like life everywhere, one might say. Only with a heavy dose of vodka, longing and mystery.
The Moscow Eccentric

The Moscow Eccentric

Advance reviewers are calling this new translation "a coup" and "a remarkable achievement." This rediscovered gem of a novel by one of Russia's finest writers explores some of the thorniest issues of the early twentieth century.
At the Circus

At the Circus

This wonderful novella by Alexander Kuprin tells the story of the wrestler Arbuzov and his battle against a renowned American wrestler. Rich in detail and characterization, At the Circus brims with excitement and life. You can smell the sawdust in the big top, see the vivid and colorful characters, sense the tension build as Arbuzov readies to face off against the American.
Murder at the Dacha

Murder at the Dacha

Senior Lieutenant Pavel Matyushkin has a problem. Several, actually. Not the least of them is the fact that a powerful Soviet boss has been murdered, and Matyushkin's surly commander has given him an unreasonably short time frame to close the case.
Survival Russian

Survival Russian

Survival Russian is an intensely practical guide to conversational, colloquial and culture-rich Russian. It uses humor, current events and thematically-driven essays to deepen readers’ understanding of Russian language and culture. This enlarged Second Edition of Survival Russian includes over 90 essays and illuminates over 2000 invaluable Russian phrases and words.

About Us

Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

Latest Posts

Our Contacts

Russian Life
73 Main Street, Suite 402
Montpelier VT 05602

802-223-4955