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.