My mother was born far from the Cossacks lands.  She is Ukrainen.  She lives among Cossacks more than 40 years.  But even after all these years she feels herself a stranger among the Cossack women sometimes. There are some character traits and manners of behavior that are difficult to describe in words that distinguish real Cossack woman from other women.  Maybe these features are the result of upbringing or they are genetically determined. Recently I looked at the pictures from my school album, remembering my classmates. I caught myself thinking that I could easily identify which one of them was born as a Cossack and who was a descendant of the immigrants from the neighboring lands.

So far this is the best movie about the Cossacks

Best movies about the Don Cossacks

There are very few movies about real Don Cossacks.  Of course, the Cossacks can be found in almost every movie about the revolution and civil war in Russia. But as a rule they are just sketchy characters, embodying the enemies of the Soviet regime. I can recall only two films about genuine Don Cossacks.

Monument to movie about genuine Cossack

Photo by aksem62

The first of them is  A fate of the man.  Another name of this movie is  Destiny of a Man. The film was shot in 1959 in my hometown Uryupinsk. The house in which the main characters of the film met, preserved until now.  There is a monument to the heroes of this film beside of this house. You can judge the attitude of the Cossacks for the film by the fact that this movie is not forgotten even after 55 years.

There were made three attempts to adapt the novel  And quiet flows the Don for the screen: in 1931, in 1958 and in 1992-93. But only one of them was successful in my opinion.  The first one in 1931 was pure propaganda not worth discussing. The last one made in 1992 by Sergei Bondarchuk was conceived as an international project starring  Rupert Everett and  F. Murray Abraham. The film was finished only in 2006 by son of Sergei Bondarchuk. The result was visually striking, but  while watching the movie I can not help feeling that I was watching the actors play Cossacks amid beautiful scenery. Unfortunately the film has nothing to do with the life of the Cossacks. The version of And quiet flow the Don shot by  Sergei Gerasimov in 1958 is the most successful attempt to dive in the real life of genuine Don Cossacks. It seems to me that I often meet  descendants of the heroes of this film on the streets of my hometown.