Leaving Afghanistan (2019)


Leaving Afghanistan (Russian: Братство, romanised: Bratstvo) is a Russian war film directed and written by Pavel Lungin.


Set between 1988 and 1989 in the closing stages of the Soviet-Afghan War, the plot, based upon a true story, centres around the men of the 108th Motor Rifle Division, whose withdrawal from Afghanistan is put on hold to rescue the kidnapped son of a Soviet general by the Mujahideen as a result of a plane crash, fighting their way through the Salang Pass and experiencing the hardship of war along the way.


  • Mikhail Kremer.
  • Aleksandr Kuznetsov.
  • Kirill Pirogov.
  • Yan Tsapnik.



The film was criticised by politicians and Soviet Army veterans for being “unpatriotic”, among which Federation Council member Igor Morozov noted the film featuring scenes of Soviet soldiers looting and fighting amongst themselves as being unsuitable for “educating young people with a sense of patriotism”, accusing director Pavel Lungin of distorting history. Lungin rejected criticism of the film as being “anti-Russian”, stating how it is instead an anti-war film that instead shows “how good guys are sent to fight ugly, pointless wars” and how it promotes conversation about the role of Russia’s armed forces during and after the Cold War period.


Leaving Afghanistan was entered into the 2019 Shanghai International Film Festival’s Golden Goblet Awards, where writers Aleksandr and Pavel Lungin won the award for Best Screenplay.


  • According to the director Pavel Lungin the movie is inspired by the memories of his friend Nikolay Kovalev, who actually did army service in Afghanistan during the war and later became Army General of the Russian Federation.
    • He died a month before the official premiere of the movie.
  • It was scheduled to show this movie on the 09 May, the day of victory of WW2, which was forbidden by a request from the Duma, reportedly due to a disappointment of the end result.
    • However it was released on the 10 May.

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s):
    • Pavel Lungin.
  • Producer(s):
    • Pavel Lungin … producer.
    • Evgeniy Panfilov … producer.
  • Writer(s):
    • Nikolay Kovalyov … (based on the memoirs of).
    • Aleksandr Lungin.
    • Pavel Lungin.
  • Music:
  • Cinematography:
    • Igor Grinyakin.
  • Editor(s):
  • Production:
    • Pavel Lungin Studio.
  • Distributor(s):
    • Walt Disney Studios Sony Pictures Releasing (WDSSPR) (2019) (Russia) (theatrical).
    • K Films Amerique (2020) (Canada) (all media).
    • Samuel Goldwyn Films (2021) (USA) (all media).
  • Release Date: 10 May 2019 (Russia).
  • Running Time: 113 minutes.
  • Rating: Unknown.
  • Country: Russia.
  • Language: Russian and English (subtitles).

Video Link

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