The Balkan Line (Russian: Балканский рубеж, romanized: Balkanskiy rubezh; Serbian: Балканска међа / Balkanska međa) is a 2019 Russian–Serbian action film directed by Andrey Volgin, depicting the Russian military's secret operation to capture Slatina Airport in Kosovo after the bombing of Yugoslavia, led by Yunus-bek Yevkurov. These events became the most dangerous aggravation of relations between the Russians and the West since the Cuban Missile Crisis.
|The Balkan Line|
|Directed by||Andrey Volgin|
|Distributed by||Buena Vista International (Russia)|
Art Vista (Serbia)
|Budget||230 million ₽|
|Box office||$5.85 million|
The film was released in Russia on 21 March 2019 (three days prior to the 20th anniversary of the events depicted in the film); it was released by 20th Century Fox CIS) after the acquisition of 21st Century Fox by Disney.
In 1999, during the bombing of Yugoslavia and the Kosovo War, Slatina airfield is taken over by a UÇK battalion led by an Albanian warlord, Smuk. Afterwards, an operation to capture the airfield from them is conducted by GRU agents. The separatists engage in organ harvesting, robberies, assassinations, and ethnic cleansing.
GRU officer Aslan-Bek Evkhoev and former paratrooper-turned-mercenary Andrey Shatalov head a small detachment tasked with the dangerous mission to stop the Albanians, recapture the airfield held from them, and hold it until Russian Airborne Troops reinforcements stationed in Bosnia arrive ahead of NATO forces, which the team will leave beforehand, as well as rescue Shatalov's love interest Jasna Blagojević, who was captured to be harvested for organs, along with several ethnic Serb prisoners.
- Anton Pampushnyy as Andrey Shatalov "Shatay"
- Gosha Kutsenko as Aslan-Bek "Bek" Evkhoev (based on Yunus-Bek Yevkurov)
- Miloš Biković as Vuk Majevski, Yugoslav police officer
- Milena Radulović as Jasna Blagojević, doctor
- Gojko Mitić as Goran Milić, head of the Yugoslav police station
- Sergey Marin as Ilya Slashchev "Slush"
- Nodari Janelidze as Rustam Mamatgireyev "Girey"
- Kirill Polukhin as Oleg Barmin "Baria", sapper
- Ravshana Kurkova as Vera Kurbaeva, sniper
- Dmitriy Frid as Dr. Stern, doctor from Switzerland, Smuk's accomplice
- Aleksandar Srećković as Smuk
- Svetlana Chuykina as Marta, doctor, assistant to Dr. Stern
- Miodrag Radonjić as Amir
- Nikola Randelović as Stevan
- Roman Kurtsyn as Senior Lieutenant Nikolay Poltoratskiy, platoon commander
- Emir Kusturica as taxi driver (cameo appearance)
- Mikhail Khmurov as General Dmitriy Ivanovich Somov
The idea of creating a film about the events in Yugoslavia came to Gosha Kutsenko in 2012, during a conversation with a friend, Slovak producer Vasil Shevts. The writer Ivan Naumov was invited to write the script, and he created a 600-page love story of a Russian peacekeeper and a Serbian girl. Kutsenko later met with producer Vadim Byrkin and General Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, who agreed to help him. The real details of the operation in which Yevkurov participated (at that time - the GRU special forces major) are still under the stamp of secrecy, so the scriptwriters thought up the plot at their own discretion, and Yevkurov advised them on the reliability of what was happening.
Miloš Biković was first offered the role of a Russian soldier, but he refused, deciding that it would be more logical for him to play a Serb in a joint film between Russia and Serbia. However, he immediately agreed to help organize the filming in his homeland and became not only an actor, but also one of the producers of the film.
Milena Radulović (sr) especially for participating in the filming of the film studied Russian and improved it every time, after which she now speaks it with almost no accent.
Emir Kusturica played a small role as a Belgrade taxi driver; According to executive producer Anastasia Pelevina, at first the director had to enter the crew from the Serbian side, but their work schedules did not match.
For the filming, all the actors playing the role of special forces went through heavy two-month training which focused on shooting and physical conditioning. Location filming took place in Moscow, the Moscow Oblast, the Republic of Crimea, Russia, and Serbia.
The film was released to Russia, Serbia, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, Belarus and Kazakhstan on March 21, 2019.
- ^ a b "The Balkan Line". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
- ^ ""Спасти Ленинград" и "Звёздные войны": самые ожидаемые фильмы 2019 года" [Saving Leningrad and Star Wars: the most anticipated films of 2019]. RIA Novosti (in Russian). January 10, 2019.
- ^ Dabb, Dmitriy (January 2, 2019). "«Самые ожидаемые фильмы 2019 года" [“The most anticipated films of 2019]. Vzglyad (in Russian).
- ^ "Сиквелы, байопики, экранизации бестселлеров: самые ожидаемые фильмы 2019 года" [Sequels, biopic, best-seller film adaptations: the most anticipated films of 2019]. RIA news Crimea (in Russian). January 12, 2019.
- ^ "Балканский рубеж, 2018". Kinoafisha.info (in Russian).
- ^ Kolenskiy, Aleksey (December 28, 2018). "Анонс-2019" [Announcement-2019]. Kultura (in Russian).
- ^ "Гоша Куценко 15 сентября начнет сниматься на Балканах в новом фильме" [Gosha Kutsenko September 15 will begin acting in the Balkans in a new film]. ТАСС (in Russian). TASS. 18 August 2017. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
- ^ "The Balkan Line (2019) Full Cast & Crew". IMDb.
- ^ "Gosha Kutsenko in the second trailer of the film The Balkan Line". Film.ru.