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Russian Director Sergei Soloviev, Dead at 77

The director, actor, screenwriter and producer passed away in Moscow.

Director Sergei Solovyov. Igor Ivanko / Moskva News Agency

Sergei Soloviev, a Russian director, producer, screenwriter and actor, died on Dec. 13, apparently of a heart attack, at the age of 77.

Soloviev was born in Karelia and expressed a strong interest in theater and film from an early age, performing as a child in productions of the Leningrad Big Theater and children’s programming on Leningrad television. After graduating from the directorial department of the State Cinema Institute in Moscow in 1968, he worked in both television and film, in particular directing many films at Mosfilm.

In the 1990s he also directed plays in the Moscow Theater on Taganka and the Maly Theater.

One of his earliest films, “One Hundred Days After Childhood,” won the award for best director at the Berlin Film Festival in 1975.

Soloviev is most renowned for his film trilogy: “Assa” (1987); “The Black Rose is an Emblem of Sorrow, the Red Rose is an Emblem of Love” (1989); and “House Under the Starry Sky” (1991), which conveyed something of the disorientation and disintegration of society in the late Soviet period. The first two films had musical scores of rock music by Boris Grebenshchikov and his band Akvarium, among others, and rock musicians such as Afrika (Sergei Bugayev) and Viktor Tsoi as performers.

Soloviev played an important role in steering the filmmakers’ unions through the early post-Soviet period as head of the Moscow Filmmakers Union from 1991 to 1994 and the Russian Filmmakers Union from 1994 to 1997. He was awarded many prizes over his career, included the title of People’s Artist of Russia, granted in 1993.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been made public.

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