'Brother 2' film screening and discussion with Dr. Benjamin Rifkin

The film “Brother 2” by director Aleksei Balabanov became a cult hit quickly upon its release in 2000 and remains extremely popular in Russia, in part due to its soundtrack featuring songs by a number of popular contemporary performers and groups including Zemfira, Bi-2, and Tantsy-Minus, among others.  The film, a sequel that can be easily understood without having seen the first film in the series, tells the story of a young man living in Moscow, connected to Russian organized crime, who goes to Chicago to help the twin brother of a dear friend with whom he served in the army.  His trip from Russia to the US is his first time abroad and the film raises interesting questions of cultural identity.  If Russians are adopting American economic and cultural practices, as they were at the time the film is made, how are they different from Americans?  As Russians continue to grapple with their place in the world, and especially with their relationship with America, this film continues to serve as a touchstone in many ways.

'Brother 2' was recently shown on a national Russian television network and the ending was changed to include carefully selected news footage of protests and riots in the US occurring earlier this month.  Join this screening and discussion event to find out how that helps us understand how Russian authorities are trying to use this extremely popular film to move Russian television viewers to adopt certain attitudes toward the United States.

Trigger Warning:  This film is an action thriller on the topic of organized crime with scenes of violence, including gun violence, typical of the genre in the United States as well as brief scenes of nudity.  The film would be rated “R” in the US.

This event will be hosted by Dr. Benjamin Rifkin, dean of Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.  He will make brief remarks prior to the screening and will facilitate discussion after the screening.

Participants will join the Zoom meeting and then queue up the film on Youtube to watch it with English subtitles.  The film is also available through a special channel on Amazon Prime and may be available on other streaming services as well.



Here’s a link to an English language commentary, if interested.  This will make for more food for thought at the post-film discussion



 Date: Saturday, June 27, 2020 (rescheduled from June 6)

Time: 7:20 p.m.

Location: Virtual Event; Advance registration required.

Please RSVP using the RSVP for this Event link. Registrants will be sent an event link to attend prior to the event. 

Free and open to the public.


Saturday, June 27, 2020



Hofstra University Virtual Event
Offered online
Hempstead, NY 11549-1000


Hofstra Cultural Center

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