The Frida Cinema

Orange County's Year-Round Film Festival

War and Peace

Our Soviet September series would be incomplete without a screening of Sergei Bondarchuk’s historic, awe-inspiring 431 minute adaptation of Tolstoy’s masterpiece, War and Peace.

War and Peace is a Soviet war drama that follows three characters throughout Russia during the Napoleonic Wars. These include the awkward yet kind-hearted Pierre Bezukov (Sergei Bondarchuk), who Tolstoy based on himself, the alluring aristocrat Natasha Rostova (Lyudmila Savelyeva), and the valiant Prince Andrei Bolkonsky (Vyacheslav Tikhonov). As the French invade, we follow these three as they struggle with love, the class system, and–of course–war.

Commissioned by the Soviet Minister of Culture Yekaterina Furtseva to outshine Hollywood’s own adaptation, War and Peace underwent a six year production process and cost 8.29 million rubles – approximately $9.21 million in 1967. The film is often considered to be the most grandiose epic films ever made and won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

The Frida Cinema is proud to partner with our friends at South East European Film Festival (SEEFest) to present Soviet September, a series of nine acclaimed films representing six decades of cinema from the former Soviet Union (1922 – 1991).

10 min after Part 1
15 min after Part 2
10 min after Part 3

“In any serious, sober-minded discussion about what could be selected to exemplify the farthest reaches of cinema’s capabilities, War and Peace — Sergei Bondarchuk’s largely unseen adaptation of Tolstoy’s literary classic — would have to be on the table.” – Charles Bramesco,

“‘War and Peace’ is the definitive epic of all time. It is hard to imagine that circumstances will ever again combine to make a more spectacular, expensive, and — yes — splendid movie.” – Roger Ebert,

“…for viewers it’s worth the investment of time. It delivers an experience exponentially greater than a two-hour movie. It’s unforgettable” – Mark LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle