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Aleksei German, Dissident Soviet Film Director, Dies at Age 74

Aleksei German
Russian film director and screenwriter Aleksei German has died. He was 74. Photographer: Anton Belitskiy/AFP/Getty Images via Bloomberg

Aleksei German, a famed Soviet film director whose movies including “Road Checks” were suppressed in Russia for years, has died. He was 74.

His son, Aleksei German, Jr., said his father died today in St. Petersburg’s Military Medical Academy. A burial service will be held in the coming days, he said.

“My father has lived his life in dignity,” his son, also a prominent film director, said in a blog posting on the Ekho Moskvy radio station’s website. “He never betrayed his ideals; never sold out; never bartered himself in exchange for vanity. I believe he left for a better world.”

His final movie, based on a science-fiction novel by the Strugatsky brothers, “Hard to Be a God,” will be finished after audio post-production is completed, German’s son said. A recipient of Russian and international film awards, German directed “My Friend Ivan Lapshin,” an account of everyday life during dictator Josef Stalin’s purges, and a World War II drama, “Road Checks,” also known as “Trial on the Road.” Both films were shelved by Soviet censors and not released until the 1980s.

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