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The Fool (2014)

Durak (original title)
Dima Nikitin is an ordinary honest plumber who suddenly decides to face the corrupt system of local politics in order to save the lives of 800 inhabitants of an old dormitory, which is about to collapse.

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16 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Natalya Surkova ...
Nina Galaganova, mer
Yuriy Tsurilo ...
Bogachyov
Boris Nevzorov ...
Fedotov
Kirill Polukhin ...
Matyugin
Dmitriy Kulichkov ...
Kristina's wife
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Nina Antyukhova
...
Tulskiy (as Sergey Artsybashev)
Pyotr Barancheev ...
Emelyanov
Nikolay Bendera ...
muzh Niny Galaganovoy
Ivan Bred
Nikolay Butenin ...
Oper
Ilya Isaev ...
Safronov
Gordey Kobzev ...
Syn Dimy
Aleksandr Korshunov ...
Otets Dimy
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Storyline

The Fool is a movie about a simple plumber. An honest man, he is up against an entire system of corrupted bureaucrats. At stake are the lives of 800 inhabitants of an old dorm that is at risk of collapsing within the span of the night. Dima Nikitin is a simple and honest guy, a foreman of a repair team at a provincial housing service. Nothing really makes him stand out among the rest. It's only the unusual combination of honesty and integrity that makes others perceive him as somewhat weird.In the little town there is a notorious dorm, inhabited mainly by drunkards and outcasts. One night the pipes burst at the dorm. After arriving at the scene, Nikitin discovers that things are way more serious - the building will not stand through the night. People need to be evacuated immediately. Fighting the red tape, Nikitin sets off on a night Odyssey around the town authorities. Written by Anonymous

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Drama

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Release Date:

16 September 2015 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Fool  »

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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Co-produced by the Russian Ministry of Culture See more »

Quotes

Dima Nikitin: We live like animals and die like animals because we are nobodies to each other.
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Soundtracks

Spokoynaya noch
Written by Viktor Tsoy
Performed by Kino
Courtesy of Moroz Records
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User Reviews

 
Who are you to mess with the system?
1 February 2016 | by (Netherlands) – See all my reviews

Durak is a gem of a movie. It showcases a rare combination of suspense and philosophical questioning, rendering it a very entertaining film that leaves you thinking about it way past the end credits.

The characters in Durak are well developed, even those that do not get a lot of screen time. We get to know them, see how they live, understand their priorities and their motives. Deeper than that though, where the movie really excels is in exposing the nature and mighty power of the highly entangled system of corruption and how each individual character is both its co-creator and its puppet.

In a city with a corrupt council, a 9-floor high building block is about to collapse. It needs to be urgently evacuated. The corrupt city officials face the prospect of criminal proceedings against them if hundreds of tenants die under the rubles. Will they be able to rise above the profitable network of kickbacks and favors that they have been milking for a long time? Or have they been diving too deep into the sweet scum of corruption to get into the surface on time to actually do something useful for their poor citizens?

What about the poor citizens themselves? Living for decades in a dilapidated building under miserable circumstances, one would guess that change is what they desperately need. But 30 years is a long time. It is time enough for people to get used to the situation, to get to know to hate it, but also to cling to it at the same time as the only tangible piece of reality that still belongs to them. Reality in the form of a derelict pile of bricks that nevertheless stands as a barrier between their life on the one hand and death lurking in the snowy streets on the other. A pile of bricks where corruption also thrives, with a thread made of vodka and violence menacing the residents but also structuring the network of reality around them. Will they be willing to forgo everything and start anew or are they also too entangled to a mighty system of their own, unable to leave it behind even in the prospect of imminent death?

The force that poses these questions and stirs things up is the protagonist, Durak. He sees reality as it is and is determined to do something about it. He has no other choice, letting things be and following the song of the Sirenes of corruption is just not like him. He is the Socratean fly that sends ripples through the system, that forces the system to face its own stink and atrocity. What does that make him? The Hero or the Fool?

Do not be mistaken and take a comfortable distance from this movie, classifying it as an interesting depiction of corruption in Russia. This is not about Russia, this movie is about you. In whatever place you might live, it's you that is also noticing the web of corruption around you and the injustice, the desperation and the misery that it causes. It's you that decides to silently take part in it, in little or greater measure, or at least let it be and try to make a living somehow. It's you that keeps thinking from time to time that someone needs to do something about it all, that you need to take action to help people, to help yourself. But what would that make you? The Hero or Durak, the Fool?


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