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Film Director Alexander Rogozhkin Dies at Age 72

Alexander Rogozhkin Yuri Belinsky / TASS

On Saturday the film and television director Alexander Rogozhkin died after a long illness at the age of 72. The announcement was made by Lenfilm Studios, where he worked for many years.

Rogozhkin was a trailblazer on both the big and small Russian screens. He was the screenwriter and director of “Peculiarities of the Russian Hunt” (1995) about a young Finnish man who wants to study the rituals of the Russian hunt, imagining the niceties of pre-Revolutionary aristocratic hunting, and instead discovers that hunting is more of a pretext for drinking. The slapstick comedy was an instant hit, and was followed by a series of other “Peculiarities of…” films, from fishing to politics.

Rogozhkin made more than 20 films including “The Chekist” (1992) about a member of a troika trying to live with and justify his executions; “Checkpoint” (1998) about war in the Caucasus; “Transit” (2006) about Soviet soldiers and American women pilots on Chukotka in 1943; and “The Cuckoo” (2002) about a Sami woman and two soldiers — one Finnish and one Russian — in 1944. His films won the highest awards in the Russian film industry and many foreign prizes, including the Un Certain Regard award for “The Chekist” at the 1992 Cannes Film Festival.

Rogozhkin was the scriptwriter and director for the first season of the television series “The Streets of Broken Lamps,” which became one of the first and most famous Russian series, running from 1995 to 2019. The show told the stories of a typical St. Petersburg police station. He later developed another popular series called “Deadly Force.”

Rogozhkin’s first university degree was in history and art. While working in the art department of Lenfilm Studios, he continued to study art and graphics. Later he studied film direction at the Gerasimov Institute for Cinematography.

Rogozhkin had not made a film for nearly a decade at the time of his death. In 2019 he told a reporter from Komosomolskaya Pravda news outlet that he was tired of fighting with “non-professionals.”

Funeral arrangements have not been announced.

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