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The Thief (Russian: Вор, Vor) is a 1997 Russian drama film written and directed by Pavel Chukhray. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film[1] and won the Nika Award for Best Picture and Best Directing. Also winner of the International Youth Jury's prize, the President of the Italian Senate's Gold Medal, and the UNICEF Award at the 1997 Venice Film Festival.

The Thief
The Thief FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed byPavel Chukhray
Produced byIgor Bortnikov
Sergei Kozlov
Igor Tolstunov
Written byPavel Chukhray
Music byVladimir Dashkevich
CinematographyVladimir Klimov
Edited byMarina Dobryanskaya
Natalya Kucherenko
Release date
  • 1997 (1997)
Running time
96 minutes
Budget$2 million
Box office$1.1 million (US)

The film is about a young woman, Katya (Yekaterina Rednikova), and her son Sanya (Misha Philipchuk), who, in 1946, meet a veteran Soviet officer named Tolyan (Vladimir Mashkov). Katya falls in love with Tolyan, who turns out to be a professional criminal, but who also becomes a father figure to Sanya.



Katya, a poor and desperate widow, and her young son Sanya try to survive in the post-World War II Soviet Union during the late 1940s through the early 1950s. While on a train, the two meet a handsome, rakish officer, Tolyan, who seduces the mother. Katya stays with Tolyan, who pretends to be her husband and acts as a stepfather to Sanya, who is at first highly distrustful of the man, resenting his presence and authority. There are several allusions to Hamlet.

Through his good looks, apparent generosity, and his status as a war veteran, Tolyan charms his way into a variety of lucrative positions. Katya and Sanya both realize the harsh and increasingly abusive nature of the new head of their family, but, although alarmed, neither mother nor child seems willing to leave the man. The extent of Tolyan's love for his new family remains ambiguous throughout the film and provides one of the more compelling elements of the story.


  • Vladimir Mashkov as Tolyan
  • Yekaterina Rednikova as Katya
  • Misha Philipchuk as Sanya (as Misha Filipchuk)
  • Amaliya Mordvinova as the doctor's wife
  • Lidiya Savchenko as Baba Tanya
  • Yuliya Artamonova as the engineer's wife
  • Yury Belyayev as Sanya (at 48 years old)
  • Dmitri Chigaryov as Sanya (at 12 years old)
  • Anton Tabakov (as A. Tabakov)




  • Sozvezdie 1997:
  • Venice Film Festival 1997:
    • Prize of the International Youth Jury - Pavel Chukhray
    • President of the Italian Senate's Gold Medal - Pavel Chukhray
    • UNICEF Award - Pavel Chukhray
  • Open CIS and Baltik Film Festival 1997:
    • Best Actor - Vladimir Mashkov
    • Best Director - Pavel Chukhray
    • Prize of the Distributors Jury - Pavel Chukhray
  • Nika Awards 1998:
  • Young Artist Award 1998:
    • Best Young Performer in a Foreign Film - Misha Philipchuk


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "The 70th Academy Awards (1998) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved 13 October 2015.

External linksEdit