Screened as part of NZIFF 2008

Cargo 200 2007

Gruz 200

Directed by Alexi Balabanov

The end of the Soviet Union is the ultimate horror show in this brilliantly grotesque film from the director of Brother. "A superbly-acted, finely-directed, vision of hell." — Time Out

Russia In Russian with English subtitles
89 minutes 35mm

Director, Screenplay


Alexander Simonov


Tatyana Kuzmicheva


Venice, London 2007; Rotterdam 2008


The year is 1984 and "Cargo 200" is code for a shipment from Afghanistan: a shipment of dead Russian soldiers. This darkly disturbing story is an allegory of Soviet society in terminal collapse. A bleak industrial hellhole in Kazakhstan forms the crossroads for an unlikely collection of comrades. A professor of atheism, a party-hearty young couple and a wannabe entrepreneur (with the local Party chief's daughter in hand) all cross paths at an isolated and illegal drinking hole patrolled by a local police captain - a violent sexual psychopath. Director Alexei Balabanov (Of Freaks and Men, Brother) fuses the cinematic purity of Tarkovsky's Stalker with the amoral bleakness of Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. A Battleship Potemkin for the new century, Cargo 200's nihilistic black humour smashes the last remaining rose-tinted glasses of any Russian still pining for the pre-perestroika, proverbial "good old days". — MS