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9 Sep, 2007 17:42

Mikhalkov brings special Golden Lion from Venice

The Russian film “Twelve” by Oscar-winning director Nikita Mikhalkov has won a special jury award at the Venice Film Festival, with twenty-three films in the official competition.

‘Twelve’ has received a special Golden Lion for the “consistent brilliance” of its work and was praised by many critics at the Venice Film Festival.

“I've always thought that first of all it's a very important film for Russian viewers and it will be interesting mostly to Russians. But in Venice it turned out that the European public was also very keen on the movie. Honestly, I didn't expect they would react like that towards the movie,” confessed Nikita Mikhalkov.

‘Twelve’ is a modern adaptation of Sidney Lumet's court drama ‘Twelve Angry Men’, but it has little to do with the old classic except for that both films focus on a murder trial.

An 18-year-old Chechen boy is charged with killing his step father, a Russian officer. Twelve jurors are locked in the gym of a Moscow school to decide his fate. The decision has to be unanimous but when somebody's life is at stake, there's always room for hesitation, and tensions escalate.
Part of Mikhalkov's film is set in Chechnya and features the horrors of war, bloodshed and grief seen through the eyes of a boy.

“This movie portrays life as it is. I think every Russian should watch it. It's the film about us, Russians, and for Russians. The problems raised at the movie concern all of us. And we shouldn't play it down, we should talk about these problems,” stressed Nikita Mikhalkov.

The Russian premiere of ‘Twelve’ is scheduled for next week and is due to be screened across the country soon afterwards. Mikhalkov can expect it'll be watched by millions of his compatriots.