Support The Moscow Times!

Pyotr Todorovsky, Filmmaker Who Broke Taboo, Dies at 87

Pyotr Todorovsky, an Academy Award-nominated director whose films explored World War II and broke a Soviet-era taboo against portraying prostitutes, died Friday after a long illness. He was 87.

Several of Todorovsky's more than 20 films drew on his experience as a platoon commander during World War II. Voenno-Polevoi Roman ("Wartime Romance," 1983), which tells the story of lovers separated by war, was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

But perhaps his best-known movie is Interdevochka ("Intergirl," 1989), a slang word for a prostitute who caters to foreigners, which included the first portrayal of a prostitute in Soviet pop culture. The film was a box office hit and its gritty realism seemed to capture the zeitgeist of the perestroika era.

"The death of Pyotr Yefimovich Todorovsky is a tremendous loss for Russian culture. There were few filmmakers as authoritative as Pyotr Yefimovich. His films can be considered a chronicle of eras in the history of our country," Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky said, RIA-Novosti reported.

Todorovsky is survived by his wife Mira and son Valery, a prominent film director.

Related articles:

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

Please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world's largest country.