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Film Director, Politician Stanislav Govorukhin Dead at 82

Stanislav Govorukhin (Andrei Lyubimov / Moskva News Agency)

Stanislav Govorukhin, an actor, celebrated film director, screenwriter and political figure, died on Thursday after a long illness, as reported in Russian media. He was 82 years old. At the time of his death he was a deputy in the State Duma from the United Russia Party. 

Born in the Urals, he began work in television in Kazan, but then moved to Moscow to study filmmaking. He was one of the most popular directors of films for movie theaters and television in the late Soviet period, most renowned for the television series starring Vladimir Vysotsky, “The Meeting Place Can’t Be Changed (1979) and “Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn” (1981). 

His 1990 documentary, “We Can’t Live Like This,” drew audiences of millions across the country and became the most famous symbol of glasnost. Two years later his films “Alexander Solzhenitsyn” and “The Russia That We Lost” continued to criticize the Soviet period and gave a positive if romanticized view of pre-Revolutionary Russia. 

Although Govorukhin continued to write scripts, direct and produce films for the big and small screen, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union he became active as a politician. In 2000 he ran for President (getting less than 1 percent of the vote), and was a deputy in the State Duma since 1993. 

In the early oughts his political views appeared to change, and in 2005 he joined the United Russia Party. In 2011 Govorukhin was chosen to be head of Vladimir Putin’s campaign in the 2012 elections. Govorukhin received dozens of awards over his career, including several Nika awards, the highest cinema prize in Russia. 

He held the title of People’s Artist of the Russian Federation.

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