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Russian Film Director Balabanov Dead At 54

  • RFE/RL's Russian Service

Aleksei Balabanov

Aleksei Balabanov

Russian film director Aleksei Balabanov has died at the age of 54.

Balabanov, whose films include the 1997 crime film "Brother" (Brat) and its sequel, "Brother-2," died after collapsing from an apparent heart attack in the village of Solnechnoye outside St. Petersburg.

Balabanov, a native of Sverdlovsk, had lived in St. Petersburg since 1990.

Many of his films, including "War" (Voina), "Blind Man’s Bluff" (Zhmurki) and "It Doesn't Hurt" (Mne ne bolno), are considered strong antiwar statements.

WATCH the trailer for Balabanov's best-known work internationally, the 1997 film "Brother" (Brat), about the second Chechen war:

His work has been praised for its mix of dark humor and social criticism.

Mikhail Trofimenkov, film critic for Russia’s "Kommersant" newspaper, called Balabanov "the best Russian film director of the past two decades."

With reporting by Interfax