Ward No. 6

Directed by Karen Shakhnazarov

Release Year: 2010
Running Time: 83
Color Type: Color
Country: Russia
Language: Russian w/English subtitles [audio]
Subjects: Literature
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Screening Info
Directed by Karen Shakhnazarov

A bold contemporary adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s legendary short story, Ward No. 6 chronicles one man's descent into madness. Dr. Ragin is the head doctor at a provincial insane asylum, where he interacts daily with the abandoned, the unloved and the forgotten. Lonely and isolated in his personal life, he finds solace in the long philosophical dialogues with his brilliant patient Gromov, which lead him to question the nature of his own existence. Updating the 1892 tale to the present day, the film is shot in a real mental institution on the outskirts of Moscow, and features interviews with actual patients. A powerful film, Ward No. 6 illuminates the writer’s immortal genius for a new generation.

Educational Reviews

"...filmmakers Karen Shakhnazarov and Aleksandr Gornovsky’s Ward No. 6 updates the narrative to contemporary Russia, but retains the original’s philosophical foundation and trenchant tone." - Video Librarian "The filmmakers successfully capture the essence of Chekhov’s depiction of a man already depressed over society’s imperfections who develops an ever darker view of the futility of human life as a result of his conversations with a brilliant but troubled patient." - Video Librarian

Critical Acclaim

"BRILLIANT...descontructs Chekhov to dazzling effect." - Ronnie Scheib, Variety

"Beautiful and indelible portrait. An inspired reworking of the Anton Chekov short story." - Kevin Thomas, LA Times


  • Best Actor- Moscow International Film Festival

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