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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 November 2006, 18:12 GMT
Russia recovers Soviet-era epic
Scene from film And Quiet Flows the Don (pic: First Channel TV)
Filming of Sholokhov's classic was plagued by a dispute
An epic tale by the celebrated Soviet-era author Mikhail Sholokhov - And Quiet Flows the Don - is being shown on Russian TV for the first time.

It took more than 10 years for the film to return to Russia, after long negotiations with the Italian partners.

The series on Russia's First Channel was edited by Fyodor Bondarchuk, who completed the work of his father, celebrated director Sergei Bondarchuk.

The story features Don Cossacks involved in revolution and civil war.

The first instalment of the drama was airing on Russian TV on Tuesday evening.


Sergei Bondarchuk's unfinished adaptation of the landmark novel disappeared in 1994 before it could be screened, then he died in Moscow.

The joint Russian-Italian production coincided with political turmoil in the Soviet Union in 1991 and the tapes were kept by an Italian bank amid a financial dispute.

Negotiations to bring the film back to Russia involved the Russian government, the famous film studios Mosfilm and even President Vladimir Putin, Russia's First Channel said.

The film was shot in English in the Don region of southern Russia, with an international cast including Rupert Everett and French actress Delphine Forest.

Voice-overs are provided by famous Russian actors Maxim Sukhanov, Marina Zudina and Nikita Mikhalkov.

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