Screened as part of NZIFF 2011

Anton Chekhov’s The Duel 2010

Directed by Dover Kosashvili

Superbly acted English-language adaptation of an 1891 Chekhov novella brings shrewd understanding to its ageless tale of indiscretions, infidelity, rivalry and blackmail at a summer holiday resort. “Very satisfying.” — NY Times

USA In English
95 minutes



Donald Rosenfeld
Mary Bing


Mary Bing. Based on the novella by Anton Chekhov


Paul Sarossy


Kate Williams

Production designer

Ivo Hušnjak

Costume designer

Sergio Ballo


Angelo Milli


Andrew Scott (Laevsky)
Fiona Glascott (Nadya)
Tobias Menzies (Von Koren)
Niall Buggy (Samoylenko)
Michelle Fairley (Marya)
Nicholas Rowe (Sheshkovsky)
Jeremy Swift (deacon)
Rik Makarem (Atchmianov)
Mislav Čavajda (Kirilin)


Vancouver 2010


Based on his 1891 novella, The Duel gives pictorial life to a classic Chekhovian tale and brings much shrewd understanding to its ageless tale of temperamentally opposed 20-somethings acting out. Laevsky, a moody young aristocrat, and Nadya, his fickle (married) mistress, have retreated from the city to a summering spot by theBlack Sea. Their growing mutual tetchiness catches the disapproving eye of Van Koren, a handsome zoologist (and avid Darwinian) working nearby. Shot gorgeously, in limpid, deep hues, inCroatia, the film is performed acutely well by a perfect ensemble of mainly English and Irish actors. — BG

“Calling a film Anton Chekhov’s The Duel underscores the writer’s pride of place as the prime mover in this expert literary adaptation. But if it weren’t for the masterful work of director Dover Kosashvili this rich, evocative film wouldn’t have nearly the impact it does.” — Kenneth Turan, LA Times

The Duel comes about as close to soap-opera passion as the virtuoso of wistful lethargy is likely to get. Perhaps ‘comic opera’ is the operative term: adultery, betrayal, blackmail, drunken antics, and all manner of peculiar impulse behavior enliven the summery indolence of a Black Sea backwater… The Duel is intelligently staged and impeccably crafted… The period atmosphere is sensuous; the postcard setting feels lived-in. Kosashvili, whose Late Marriage [NZIFF02] was a superbly volatile generational farce, gives the Masterpiece Theater tradition a welcome zetz… The Duel is the most successful literary adaptation I’ve seen since Pascal Ferran’s 2006 Lady Chatterley.” — J. Hoberman, Village Voice