5 Soviet Films You Can Watch on YouTube

5 Soviet Films You Can Watch on YouTube
16 July 2021

Since 2011, Mosfilm (Мосфильм) has been uploading many of its classic films on YouTube for free. If you are interested in Soviet cinema, this is a great chance to watch some really interesting films whilst improving your Russian. Here are 5 Soviet films that I really enjoyed watching and that I would recommend for those who want to learn more about Soviet cinema.

Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears (Москва слезам не верит) (1980)

This film can be found in two parts on the official Mosfilm channel. The film follows the story of three women, and is divided into two parts: the first part is set in 1958, and the second in 1979. For me, this is a story of love, friendship and hardship, and depicts strong female characters with some feminist tropes.

Unbelievable Adventures of Italians in Russia (Невероятные приключения итальянцев в России) (1974)

This is a comedy which follows a group of Italians searching for a secret family fortune in Russia. It is a hilarious film in which the unexpected always occurs, and its humour transcends generations.

Gals (Девчата) (1961)

Set in a logging camp in rural, snowy Russia, this is a true classic. The main character is the feisty Tosya, and in the film we see her on a journey where she falls in love and finds her feet in a new world. It has its heartbreaking and hilarious moments, and is sure to warm your heart.

Kidnapping, Caucasian Style (Кавказская пленница) (1966)

This film follows the adventures of the character of Shurik, who featured in many Soviet films in the 60s. In this film, he arrives in the Caucasus and is intent on getting to know the local traditions. This has some extremely funny consequences, and the film is full of slapstick comedy and laugh-out-loud moments.

Viy (Вий) (1967)

This is a horror film based on Gogol’s story Viy, which is a tale of witches, hauntings and demons. Although the special effects may prevent you from being overly terrified, the story is dark and mysterious, and it is definitely a good watch if you want to become acquainted with Gogol’s works.


All of the above films can be found legally and for free on YouTube by simply searching their names in English or Russian. They also all have English subtitles to help you along the way. If you enjoy these films, many more Soviet films can be found on the Mosfilm channel. Enjoy watching!

Leila, currently studying at Liden & Denz St. Petersburg

Posted by Leila Shannon

Привет! I'm Leila, and I study Russian and Spanish at Durham University. I am currently studying with Liden & Denz in St. Petersburg. I have been studying Russian for almost 3 years, and I love learning about Russian history and culture.

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