Taras Bulba (2009) - full transcript

Set in the 16th century, this is a story about Ukraine's Cossack warriors and their campaign to defend their lands from the advancing Polish armies.


This picture was produced with the support of
the Ministry of culture of the Russian Federation

Before the battle, I want to tell you,

about our comradeship.

There are comrades everywhere,
in other countries,

but comrades such as in Russia,

there are none, nowhere.

Loving like the Russian soul,

loving not through reason,

but through what God has given us,

and which lies in us,

loving like that, nobody can.

I know,

there are infamous bastards on our soil.

All they think about is stacking up
grain, hay and raising herds of horses.

They bring along, the Devil knows
which kinds of barbarian customs.

They despise their own language.

They even refuse to speak it among themselves.

They sell their offspring like

goods on the cattle market !

And the favour of a foreign king,

who is not even a king,

but a Polish tycoon,

who's crushing their faces
under his yellow boots,

matters more to them
than any kind of fellowship !

But even in the lowest of bastards,

whoever he may be,

there lies a bit of the Russian soul,

when he wakes up someday,

hits the ground with his fists,
takes his head in his hands,

curses aloud his despicable life,

ready to redeem himself,

and to endure torments
to atone for his shame.

Let them all know

what comradeship means
on Russian soil.

And if it comes down to that,

if we have to die,

none of them will ever

avoid the same death.

None !

None !

They don't have the balls,
it's in their nature.

Attack !


Based on the novel by




Magdalena Meltsaj
Lioubomiras Lautsyavitchius
Ada Rogovtseva

Mikhail Boyarskiy - Serguei Dreyden
Youri Belyaev - Les Serdiuk

Vladimir Ilin - Boris Khmelnitskiy
Alexander Dediuchko - Piotr Zaitchenko

Ivan Krasko - Matliuba Alimova
Ostap Ctupka - Mikhail Juravskiy

Sound : Natalia Avanesova
Editing : Leda Semenova

Costumes : Ekaterina Chapka?ts
Make-up : Vadim Khalaimov

Executive producers
Vladimir Svetozarov
Sergue? Yakoutovitch - Marina Nikolaeva

Original Score
Igor Kornelyuk

Director of Photography
Dimitri Mass

Executive Producer
Alexander Potemkin

Anton Znatopolskiy
Ruben Dishdishyan

Directed by
Vladimir Bortko


How was the journey ?


Turn around, son !

Turn around !

It's funny, what you're wearing.

It looks like a pope's cassock, uh !

Such long dresses !

And if I push one of you,

will I see him tumble to the ground,

entangled in the folds ?

Don't laugh at us, father.

Ooh ! He's so cute !

Ha !

Why don't you laugh ?

Although you're my father, if you laugh,

I guarantee you, I will hit you.

What ? Your father ?!

Even though you're my father.

If I get offended, I do not
consider or respect any man.

And how can you fight ?

With your fists ?

Ha ?

So be it.

All right, come on.

Come on !

Come with your fists.

Come on !

Good, son.

Well done, sonny.

Frankly, that's good.

Have you gone crazy, old fart !
The children are back.

One long year without seeing them,
and all he thinks of, is boxing them !

But he was the one wanted to fight !

And not so bad, honestly.

He'll make a good Cossack !

Welcome, my son !

Shall we hug ?

Good, my son.

Always hit the way you hit me.

Don't fear anyone.

And you, snot-nose, what are you
doing there, swinging your arms ?

Why, unworthy son,
won't you come and hug me ?

Such a foolish idea to have
your kids fighting their own father !

Yeah...and I hear this
coming from a highbrow !

Don't listen to your mother, my son.

She's a woman, and knows nothing.

Who's your family ?

Your future, is these plains,
and a good horse.

That...is your family.

Do you see this sword ?

That...is your mother.

I'm sending you off to
Zaporozhye next week.

That is where knowledge can be found.

There only, spirits are being shaped.

Only there.

I'm afraid, my sons, that the Archimandrite

has not passed the taste for vodka to you.

Why not concede, my sons,
that you have been

whipped with birch sticks, on the back,

and on any other place
that makes you a Cossack ?

It's no use, father,
to remember the past.

What is done, is done.

He's only trying to provoke you.

Just let these pagans talk,

they satisfy themselves to know
what a Cossack saber is.

Good, son !


If it is like this, I shall go with you.

Indeed !

What the hell can I expect here ?

Sowing buckwheat, doing the dishes ?

Keeping the sheep, the pigs ?

Or chatting with my wife ?

Damn !

I am a Cossack !

And I don't want to !

Is there not a war ?

And I shall go with you to Zaporozhye.

and da-da-da-da, have fun !

What kind of enemy can we
confront by staying here ?

What's the use of having a house ?

What's the use of all this ?

Dmitro, I will entrust you to take care
of my property, you hear me ?

As long as I'll be in Syetch,

fighting with the regiment.

Don't forget to give them
the best oats you can find.

Monaka, Orlika, Buyana.

Bulba was horribly stubborn.

He was one of those characters...

who could only be found in the
depths on the sixteenth century,

and who, being born Cossacks,

were provided with the reckless
and savage mores of the Russian nature.

He was a phenomenal example
of Russian force,

driven from the entrails of the people,
as well as from many inequities.


Let's go !

Let go !

All right, let's go !

My beloved sons,
what's waiting for you ?

What are you to become ?

Who will lead you ?

In which battle will you lose
your heads to the Tatars ?

And I won't even know

where to find your mutilated bodies.

Right, sons, all is ready.

Why wait any longer ?

Now, following the Christian tradition,

we have to all sit down.

Mother, bless your children.

Pray God to fight bravely,

to always act honestly,

and to always protect faith in Christ.

Or else,

better disappear,

than think differently.

May the mother of God bless you.

My sons, do never forget your mother.


this is Syetch, our mother.

Here is Syetch.

This is the nest where they all come from,

proud and strong as lions !

From here the Cossacks are

spreading throughout Ukraine.

Anyone who comes here,

abandons behind him
what he used to be.

He'll happily spend time in
the company of others like him.

He won't have parents,
or family, or home,

only undying insouciance
and infinite skies.

This is Syetch.

Hey, musicians, play faster !

Don't be mad, Thomas, vodka
is orthodox for Christians !

Take off your coat.
See how much it weighs !

- I can't.
- And why's that ?

I can't, I could even sell it
just to get a means to drink more.

Have fun, Vassil !
I redeemed you.

Now, you don't owe anyone anything.

Hail, Kirdyaga !

And I can see you didn't come alone,
but with your sons.

He killed a comrade...like a dog,

just like that, dead drunk.

He's a shame for all Cossacks.

And if he hadn't been a Cossack ?

But only a simple man ?

A Polack ?

Wouldn't that be a shame, then ?

If it were so, only
the Polacks would mourn.

Nobody's mourning us.

But there are laws,

courts, Roman right...

Here prevails the law of our soil.

What if we were born
in another country ?

I don't know.

I remember, when we were kids,
we were walking on the road,

and you were skipping around, crying,

because the sun was heating
the dust and burning your feet.

I took you in my arms,

and walked again, and I had the feeling
that it wasn't the dust at all,

but the soil itself that
was warming my feet.

My soil.

It's just like Latin, at the seminary.
It's not for me.

Veni, vidi,...
What comes after that ?

I came, I saw, I won.

Won ? No, not us.

Not with this soil under our feet.

There she is.

Where ?

Over there, first row.
Next to her father.

Hey you, bastards, how
dare you go to church ?

What did you say ?

A real son of Taras, huh guys ?

And you, what can you do ?

Or maybe you can't do anything ?
Huh ?

So be it.

He will stand there.

And I shall shoot.

But why would you want
to do that, Shilo ?

Because he had already his turn.

We'll see whether he's courageous.

Yuk !

Where are you going to, Taras ?

Hi, father.


Back to Syetch ?

Do you believe in Christ ?

I do.

Hail to you, Koshevoy *
[* Supreme chief of the Cossacks]

Hello, Taras.

And do you believe in the Holy Trinity ?

I do, father.

Sit down.

And now, cross yourself.

Good. You can go now.

And you know to which hut...

Thank you, father.

So, Koshevoy...

It's time for the Cossacks to have fun.

There's no place to have fun.

How so, no place ?

We can go to the Turks,
or to the Tatars.

We can't go to the Turks nor to the Tatars.

How so, we can't go ?

We promised the sultan...


You, you are the sultan...

this devil of a Turk,

brother to the demon,

Lucifer's secretary in person !

But what the hell can you do,

when you can't even kill a hedgehog,

because your butt is naked ?

We do not fear your armies.

On ground and sea,
we will fight you...

you, Babylonian spitmeat !

Gelding of Jerusalem !

And now, we have to finish,

for we don't know how to count

and we don't have a calendar anymore.

But if this day is ours,
it is yours too.


From where you are,
kiss us right here !

All right, send this letter to the sultan.

We can't send the letter to the sultan.

And why is that so ?

- Koshevoy won't allow it.
- How so, won't allow it ?

He wants peace with the sultan.

That dog !

What do you want, sirs ?

- Give back the staff !
- Give back the staff, son of a bitch !

We don't want you anymore !
Go away !

Give back the staff !

- Give back the staff !
- Go away !

Who do you choose now as Koshevoy ?

Choose Kukubenko !

No, not Kukubenko !
He's too young !

He's still got milk on the lip !

Let Shilo be the chief !
Yes, Shilo ! Shilo !

Fuck Shilo !

A guy who steals from hiw own
is not a Cossack, son of a bitch !

Like a Tatar !

Shout for Kirdyaga.

Kirdyaga !
Kirdyaga !

Yes, Kirdyaga !
Kirdyaga !

Kirdyaga !
Kirdyaga !

Kirdyaga !
Take the staff !

Kirdyaga !
Take it !

Let there be vodka for all !

What news ?

Disastrous !

All this Cossack power, in vain !

There is no war !

Our sergents are growing mossy,

and their eyes are getting fleshy !

Allow me, chief,
to have a word to say ?


What is the news ?

The news is catastrophic.

Catastrophic ?

Colonel, you don't have a regiment any more.

And you don't have a farm,
or horses, any more.

No servants any more.

The Polacks destroyed everything.

And your wife, Taras,

they killed her.

Even maimed, we tried to save her.

But we couldn't.

And allow me, sirs,

to say another word.

Speak !

Speak, dog !
Don't hide anything !

I want to ask you something.

Have you heard...

what's going on over the whole kingdom ?

And what's going on ?

Tell us what's going on,
son of a bitch !

We were born and baptized,

but they don't give a damn !

We live in a time

where even the sacred churches

are not ours any more !

How so, not ours ?

Why, not ours ?

They are being rent to innkeepers !

What ? What do you mean ?
Christian churches ?

And if we don't pay the rent in advance,

they won't allow us to attend mass !

That is the kind of time
we are living in Ukraine !

Listen up, for I have
not said everything yet.

Today, priests are traveling
across Ukraine in carts.

The problem is not that
they are traveling in carts,

it's that the carts are not
drawn by horses...

...but by good orthodox Christians !

That is the kind of time
we are living in Ukraine !

And you, you are here,
in Zaporozhye,

you are having fun,

and you don't hear
what's going on in the world.

Shut up.
Shut up !

And what have you been doing ?

Didn't you have your
swords with you, or what ?

How could you ever allow
such mischief to even happen ?

Oh yes, I would like to see you,
facing fifty thousand Polacks.

It's not a secret that even

among us there are dogs,

who are turning away from faith !

And your Ghetman, and your colonels,
what have they done ?

What our colonels have done ?

They have done what they had to,
to defend God, and you, and us.

Right now, the Ghetman is in Warsaw,
boiled in a copper cauldron !

The heads and hands of the colonels

have been shown to the population,
on fairgrounds !

That is what our colonels have done !

What ? Priests carried in carts
drawn by good orthodox Christians !

How can we tolerate on Russian soil

that damned infidels
practice such tortures ?!

And what they have done to
the Ghetman and the colonels !

We won't allow it !
We won't allow it !

Let's go and strangle the strangers !

Let's go and drown
them in the Dnieper !

But it's not us, it's not us renting,
it's not the Jews !

It's the Ukrainians, but not us,
not the Jews !

I did nothing, I did nothing !

Master, protect me,
I did nothing.

Masters such as you, sirs,
there are none better in the world !

So courageous, so brave, so good, no,
never anywhere ! Never !

But it's not us, it's not us renting,
it's not the Jews !

Those who do that,
we should spit on them !

Pfuh-pfuh-pfuh-pfuh !
And throw them in hell !

I knew your brother,
the late Dorosh,

I lent him 800 crowns
when he wanted to buy...

Enough, come here.

Don't move !

Wait !

- You knew my brother ?
- Yes.

In truth I did.

He was a generous man.

What's your name ?


Very well.

Step away, brave fighters.

And you, go away.

Don't push me to sin.

The council of elders

has decided

to go to Poland !

Make them pay for their misdeeds,

in tears and death !

They denigrated our faith !

What is the decision

of Zaporozhye's
independent army ?

Agreed !
Agreed !

God bless you !

God bless you !

Good-bye, Syetch, our mother.

The Lord be with you.

Moron ! What are you doing here ?

Do you want to get
shot like a sparrow ?

I'm not talking to anyone.
This is my own cart.

I'm carrying everything
the Cossacks may need,

and at a price so low that no
Jew would be able to match.

Honestly, yes, by God, yes !

Ah ! You are a smart one !

Soon, the whole of south-eastern
Poland became prey to the terror.

Everywhere shouts could be heard :

"Cossacks ! The Cossacks are coming !"

All that could be saved,
was carried off.

All were fleeing, alone or in groups,
in total panic.

What do you think ?

Your Highness, they are
as many as grasshoppers.

Are they really that many ?

Rabble ! Cattle !

Rebel slaves !

Maybe not all of them.

You don't know them.

Are you afraid ?

I'm not afraid of anything, my daughter.

I'm just worried about you.

But believe me, we will disband them.

And punish them severely.

They are coming !

Attack !

Be ready !

More wood.

Be ready !

They're so many.

Be ready !
At my command !

Darling, you have to go.

We will have to fight.

This is no place for you.


Attaque !

Obey !

Fire !
Fire at will !

Fire !

Pistol !


...in the storm !!

Almost there !

Your hand !

Andriy, Andriy, hold on !

Sound retreat !
No use in wasting our forces.

This is nothing, brothers,
we are beating a retreat,

but let me turn into a barbarian
and not a good Christian,

if we allow a single one
to stay alive in that city !

Let them starve to death, those dogs !

We will besiege the city

and not even a mouse will pass through !

Help me undress then you may dispose.

All right, mistress.

- Good night.
- Good night.

What's going on, mistress ?

Nothing, I dropped my comb.

Did you see me ?


Nobody has ever seen me like this.

Go away !

Tell me, who are you ?

I think I saw you before.

Yes, in Kiev.

In Kiev ?

You're a Tatar ! You're the servant...

- to the Voyvod's daughter ! *
[* Duke]

Hush !

So tell me, how is she ?
Is she still alive ?

She's here, in the city.

In the city ?

And why is she in this city ?

Because the old master is here too.

He's Voyvod of the city of Dubna.

Is she married ?

Well, answer me !

She has eaten nothing all day.

Why ?

There's no bread anymore.

People are eating dust.

She said : go ask the knight,

if he remembers me,
to come see me,

and if not, to give
bread for my mother.

He too has a mother.
He might be willing to help us.

The Polacks killed my mother.

But how did you manage to come here ?

How did you do ?

The underground passage.

There is a passage ?


Come with me.

For God's sake, bread...


stay here, close to the cart.

No, sit down. Everyone sleeps.
Nobody will see you.

I'm going, now.

Keep your sodding...

Let's go.

Andriy !

You're with a woman.

It's much better that way.

Women waiting at home, it's not good.

It's not good.

Come on.

Hurry, hurry up.

Because of the famine, we have eaten
everything : horses, dogs, cats.

You wouldn't even find a mouse.

How do they intend to defend the city ?

The Voyvod was ready to surrender,
but we heard yesterday morning

that a colonel is arriving from Warsaw,
with reinforcements.

May God reward you.

Me, I'm just a weak woman.

Easy, don't eat too fast.

You haven't eaten for so long
that bread would be like poison to you !


What do you want ?

What do you need ?

Your wish is my command.

Ask me anything, even if it's
impossible,and I'll do it.

Command me to do what
no man can do, and I'll do it.

Why are you so sad ?

Why are you so sad ?

Fate is so cruel. My life was but
excess and abundance,

and all this for what ?

Dying a death that not even
the poorest in the kingdom will suffer ?

And never knowing the love that
I've always been dreaming of ?

Holy Virgin, forgive my sins.

You will not.

You won't die.

You won't die.

On my family, I swear it.
You will not die.

And if it happens that neither force
nor prayer can prevent our death,

then we shall die together.

But I'll die first.

For being without you
is being dead already.

Do not lie, knight.

Not to yourself, no to me.

I know that you may not love me.

You talk of fathers,
comrades, motherland...

And to you, we are the enemy.

And what is a father after all ?

Comrades ?

Motherland ?

Nobody dictates what I should believe.

Nobody. Nobody !

Who said that Ukraine is my motherland ?

Who offered it to me as a motherland ?

Motherland is what
our soul is longing for,

what's most precious
in the world to it.

Here is my motherland.

You are my motherland.

And I shall hold this motherland

in my heart.

I shall hold it as long as I live.

And nobody, even a Cossack,
will ever take it away from me.

For such a motherland,

I'll give everything,

I'll sell everything,

I'll break everything.

Did you see Andriy ?


- Maybe he's been captures.
- No, not Andriy.

But he's not among the dead.

Have another look at all of them !

See, brothers,
what happened last night !

All these dead drunk morons !

Not surprising that half are dead,

and the other half captured !

What a shame in front of our enemy !

Allow me, chief ?

Your reproaches are not truly justified.

Cossacks would be to blame
and would deserve death

should they be drunk while
marching, fighting or working.

But we were sitting idle,

taking walks here and
there in front of the city.

Did we not behave as Christians
through fast and abstinence ?

But if we don't have anything to do,
why couldn't we be drinking ?

Bulba's eldest son has spoken well !

And this is not a sin !

And we are going to show them now

what it means to attack
defenseless people.

They have been hitting hard before, but we'll
hurt them so deeply that they won't get over it.

Master !
Colonel !

Master colonel !

I've been in the city.

Did the enemy take you there ?

When I heard the noise,

when the Cossacks started to shoot,

I ran toward the city gate,

just when the Polish troops
were coming in.

A the lead was Lieutenant Galyandowicz.

He's been owing me one
hundred crowns for three years.

I followed him to get my money back,
and I entered in the city.

What, you ? Entered in the city ?
And you wanted to get back your debt ?

And he didn't hang you as a dog ?!

Yes ! He wanted to !

He put a rope around my neck,
but I begged him,

and I promised I'd lend him more money.

And since the Lieutenant doesn't have
a single penny in his pocket,

he can't sit at the Diet. *
[* Polish parliament]

And what have you been doing in the city ?
Did you see our men ?

Of course !
Itska, and Samuel, and Rafael...

To hell with them !
I'm talking about Cossacks !

Uh-uh, Cossacks...

I saw...

master Andriy.

You saw him ?

Andriy ?

But how ?

And where did you see him ?

In a basement ?

In a pit ?

Dishonoured ?

Chained ?

No, who would dare chain master Andriy ?

This majestic...

knight ?

God knows I hadn't recognized him.

with his golden epaulets,
his golden cuffs,

his golden hat...as a matter of
fact, everything was golden.

And a golden belt,
gold everywhere.

And the Voyvod gave him a horse.

A horse worth two hundred crowns alone.

That's it.

But why would he wear such a disguise ?

He went over.

Went where ?

He went over to their side.

He's one of them now.

You're lying, bastard !

And why would I lie to you ?

I know a Jew can get hanged from a tree

like a dog, should he lie to a master.

Then, if it was him, you think,
did he deny his motherland, his faith ?

No, no, no, I never said he did !

I only said that he
went over to their side.

You lie, damn Jew !

Such a thing is unthinkable
in a Christian country !

You lie, dog !

Let grass not grow any more
on my threshold,

and let them spit
on my father's grave,

and on my mother's, and on
my father's father's grave, if I lie !

If the master allows, I can even
explain why he went over.

Why ?!

The Voyvod's daughter is beautiful.

Great God, a true beauty !

It's because of her, if he went over.

I questioned the Tatar chambermaid.

There will a a marriage, as soon
as the Cossacks are defeated.

Master Andriy promised
to defeat the Cossacks.

Why didn't you kill him
on the spot, son of a bitch ?

Why kill him ?
Because of what he's done ?

He's better over there.
That's why he went over.


You saw him ?
The same face ?

In truth, the same face.

He came toward me, recognized
me and said : Yankel...

What did he say ?

Tell my father.
Tell my brother.

Tell the Cossacks.
Tell it in Zaporozhye, tell them all.

That from now on...

My father is not my father any more.

My brother is not my brother,
my comrade is not a comrade any more.

And that I shall fight them all !

I shall fight them all !

Go away before I kill you, damn Jew.

Alert !
Alert !

What's the matter ?

My brothers, God be praised !

I thought I'd never find you.

I've been riding for five days.

What happened ?

Syetch, ablaze.

People, all killed,
or enslaved.

I alone could escape.

Well, brother,

maybe we'll meet again,
or maybe not.

Forgive me, brother.

God forgives.

And to the next time.

God forgives.

For the third time, forgive.

God forgives.

Are they leaving ?

I don't understand.
What does that mean ?

Only half of them.

It means that only half of them remain.

Half the Cossacks are gone.

The other half remain.

Sirs, this is our only chance.

Tomorrow, we'll crush and overcome them.

A toast to that !
Vivat ! Vivat ! Vivat !

I appreciate you, friends,

not because you chose me as your chief,

not in honour of our
comrades still over there,

not because this minute
will never come back.

A noble cause is waiting
for us, and will demand

from us sweat and higher virtues !

So let's drink, comrades,
particularly for

the holy orthodox faith !

Let there finally be a time...

when it will spread in the world,

and there will be...

only one single and holy faith !

To faith !

To faith !

And by the same way,
let's drink to Syetch !

To Syetch !

May the city grow in beauty and power
with every passing year !

To Syetch !
To Syetch !

And finally, comrades,
the last toast.

Comrades !

To all Christians in the world !

To Christians !

To Christians !
To Christians !

Cossacks think deeply.

Like eagles, they contemplate
their baleful destiny from above.

The fields will be covered
with their white bones,

generously drenched
in their Cossack blood.

But none of them will be forgotten.

And the Cossacks'
glory will live for ever.

A bard's prophetizing soul
will chant their praises aloud.

And all those who will be
born later will remember them.

Because a strong word reaches far away,
as the clock's powerful rumble,

in which many lords have
melted their precious silver,

so it may resound far across,
in towns and villages,

calling everyone to the holy prayer.

Attack !

Forward !

Do not yield !

Don't let them break through our ranks.

Concentrate fire on them !

Hey, your weapons
are really worth a lot !

I killed seven Poles but I
haven't seen such a weapon yet.

Filthy dog !

Vivat !

Take this !

Come on !

The colonel has been killed,
do you hear, brothers ?!

The colonel is dead !
Dimitrovitch is dead !

And why aren't you a colonel ?

No, really ?

Kukubenko, colonel !

With me !

Come on !

Our victory, comrade !

No, this is not a victory yet.

They are yours,
yours, damned son.

You're slaying yours.

Draw him towards the woods.

Draw him there for me !

And what are we going to do now ?

So, sonny,

you've been
helping the Polacks ?

Selling yourself like that !

Selling your faith !

Selling yours...

Get down !

Get off that horse !

Stop and don't move !

I fathered you...

and I shall kill you.

And you were such a good Cossack.

Strong, and proud.

Such a... noble face...

A strong arm in the battle.


Lost, shamefully.

Why, mangy dog ?

We are in trouble, chief !

Everybody's looking for you !

The enemy has got backup forces.

But the Cossacks won't die if they
don't see you before their very eyes !

They want you to come and see them
before it's time to die.

So, comrades,
your cartridges are full ?

Is the Cossacks' army
still powerful ?

Do the Cossacks surrender ?

Our cartridges are full, chief !

And we haven't lost our power !

And we will never surrender !

I'm leaving this world without regret.

God gives the same death to all.

May Russia remain glorious
until the end of centuries.

May Russia get rid of its
enemies for ever, and rejoice.

And the young soul flies away.

Angels covered it under their wings
and took it to the skies.

There it will be well.

"Sit down at my right."
the Lord will say.

"You haven't changed comradeship."

"You have not been disgraced.
You defended and preserved my Church."

So, comrades,
your cartridges are full ?

Is the Cossacks' army still powerful ?

Do the Cossacks surrender ?

Our cartridges are full, chief !

And we haven't lost our power !

And we will never surrender !

One of the most valiant Cossack chiefs.

He took part in numerous expeditions,

the most glorious as far as
the Anatolian coast.

He gathered large wealth
and somptuous objects.

And the bards will chant his
praise long after his death.

It seems, comrades,

that this is a good death.

I killed seven with the saber,
and nine with the dagger.

May Russia blossom

for ever.

Cossack Mossiy Shilo was strong.

More than once he commanded at sea,

and he went through numerous trials.

He might have been Koshevoy,
but he was a peculiar type of Cossack.

He used to drink and spend without telling,
and he owed everyone money in Syetch.

Besides, he was a notorious thief : one night,
he stole a harness and sold it to an innkeeper.

For such a shameful act,
he was tied to a post,

next to a club, so that
anyone could punish him.

But not a single Cossack took the club to Shilo,
for all could remember his high deeds.

So was the Cossack Mossiy Shilo.

Farewell, brothers, comrades.

May Russia remain for ever
the pillar of orthodox faith.

May Russia be its honor !

And the Cossacks are fighting.

But already Zadorozhniy is dead,

and Koshevoy is dead.

Then Pysarenko's dead, then another,

and then a third Pysarenko dies too.

But the Cossacks are fighting

to the end of their forces.

I thank God for allowing me
to die before your eyes, comrades.

May our followers live better than we did.

And may our beloved Russia
remain the Lord's favourite.

So, brothers ?

Your cartridges are full ?

Your swords are not dull ?

Your power is intact ?

Did the Cossacks surrender ?

Our swords are still sharp !

And the Cossacks are still fighting.

Fire !

Ostap, hold on !

Good, son, good !

Bastard !

I'm with you, Ostap !

- Father !
- Ostap, Ostap !

The Cossacks have crossed the river.

Soon, Asia Minor will acknowledge them,
their shaven heads, their long toupees...

It will see the turbans of its
Muslim inhabitants

spread like countless flowers
on fields engorged with blood.

It will see the Cossacks'
baggy black trousers,

and their muscled arms
waving black whips.

And the pleasure
they'll take in sailing again.

They will sail against turkish ships,

despite the minuscule
size of their own boats.

One third of them will be lost at sea,
but the others will gather again

and they'll reach the Dnieper's mouth,

loaded with dozens of
barrels of Turkish gold.

My son,




Listen up, Yankel,

I saved your life.

It's your turn, now.

Do me a favour.

If it's a favour I can do, why not ?

Don't say a word.

Take me to Warsaw.

To Warsaw ?

But why Warsaw ?

Take me...

to Warsaw. I have never been there and I must

see him one last time
and tell him one word.

Tell him a word ?

To Ostap,

my son.

- If the master doesn't know yet...
- He knows.

My head is worth two thousand crowns.

I'll give you five thousand.

Two thousand now,

and the rest when we're back.

I guess the man whose
money it was before,

did not live more than an hour.

I'd have preferred not to have to ask.

I could have found the
road to Warsaw by myself.

But I don't have any time to lose.

So prepare your cart and take me there !

And the master thinks it's enough to say :
"Yah Sivka, let's go" ?

And the master thinks that
nobody will search for him ?

Well, I'll hide if I have to.

In an empty barrel, or what ?

Why, an empty barrel ?
Anybody would think

that the barrel's not empty,
but full of vodka.

Let them think so, then.

Yes, and at the first check,
they will drill a hole in the barrel,

they'll see that nothing is flowing
and they will say...

A Jew never carries an empty barrel.

That's a bit true, isn't it ?

They will seize the Jew,

tie the Jew,

take the money from the Jew,

and jail the Jew.

Because all that goes
wrong is the Jew's fault.

Because everybody
takes the Jew for a dog !

Because everybody thinks : he's not a man.

I am Jew.

But you'll take me,

won't you, please ?


Colonel, we're already in Warsaw.

What ?

Did you succeed ?

My poor master,
it is not possible nowadays.

Absolutely impossible.

A people so mean that they
spit on everybody's head.

That's what Mordichai says.

Mordichai did what nobody else did.

But God did not allow it.

Tomorrow, they'll all be executed.

Come then.

I can't.

We need it.

I need it.

There, Miss, with all those instruments,
is the executioner.

He knows his affair very well.

When he starts breaking bones,

it's a curse for the Cossack
if he's still alive.

And when he has to cut a head,
he won't drink, or eat, or even sing.

Because, Miss, that could
have him lose his head too.

Death !

God, let all those

who are not heretic,

or mean, suffer

like true Christians !

Let none of us utter a single word !

Good, son...

Good, son, good...

Good, son, good...

Daddy !

Where are you ?

- Can you hear me ?
- I hear you, sonny !

I hear you !

Aida !

Aida !

Aida !

This is for you, damned Polacks,
in memory of Ostap.

Help her.

Help her, old fool !

Why don't you do anything ?

She's been suffering for three days !

Sirs, please excuse me.

Let's continue.

Cossacks under the orders
of Ostrenitsiy,

have defeated the royal army
general Nikolai Potosky.

The only way to safeguard
our forces and our honour,

is to surrender,

even though the Cossack leaders led
by Taras Bulba do not wish that.

Enough, mister Kosnievsky.

We must try and gather
the forces of all Poland.

Lord, the danger stalking us is terrible.

Because they are not people.

Pray excuse me.

What is it ?

The princess died.

And the child ?


It's a boy.

Sir, a small Bulba
detachment near the river !

They are in the Dniester's rocks.

We'll be there in the morning !

Forward, at a gallop !

They're many.

On horse !

To the river !

Aida !

Aida !

Aida !

To the Dniester !

I have to quit tobacco.

I don't want to end up
in the hands of those damned...

...Polacks !

Ah, old age...

Burn !

In front of everyone, burn !

Where to ? Which way ?

Take a left and then,
jump in the water !

Otherwise, you're finished !

Thank you, father !

Shut up !

Farewell, comrades !

Come back here next spring.

And have fun !

What ?
Surprised, Polacks ?

Wait, the time will come

when you know

what the Russian orthodox faith means.

Close or far, now,
people feel it !

There will be a time soon...

when all will surround...

their king, the Tsar !

And there will be no power in the world

that he won't be able to tame !

Under the light shed by those people,

and their power,

is there anywhere a force
able to break

the Russian soul ?

Subtitles by Intermodal (2009)