DirectorAndrei Malyukov Music directorMark Minkov LanguageRussian
WriterYevgeni Mesyatsev, Grigori Chukhrai Release date1977 (1977) CastBoris Galkin (Lt Tarassov), Mihai Volontir (Warrant Officer Volentir), Anatoly Borisovich Kuznetsov (Mayor Morozhkyn), Aleksandr Pyatkov (Zuyev), Vladimir Zamanskiy Similar moviesThe Detached Mission (1985)
In the zone of special attention
In the Zone of Special Attention (Russian: В зоне особого внимания, V zone osobogo vnimaniya) is a 1978 Soviet action movie directed by Andrei Malyukov. It achieved cult film status among several generations of the Russian Airborne Troops and veterans, and, along with Hit Back, it became part of their popular culture. The Soviet audience was approximately 35.4 million.
Somewhere in the Soviet Union, a huge military exercise is in preparation, between opponents designated as the "Northern" and "Southern" army groups. As manoeuvres begin, the commander of the "Southern" airborne regiment designates three reconnaissance groups to be dropped far behind "Northern" lines, to find and capture the rival "Hidden Command Center" (HCO) and to set up a radio beacon to show the location of the drop zone for the main assault. Two of the three groups are soon captured by "Northern" counter-reconnaissance units. The third, led by Lt. Tarasov (Boris Galkin), manages to dodge all the traps set by the enemy.
"Northern" Mjr. Morozhkyn (Anatoly Kuznetsov), leading the pursuit, surrounds the place in the forest where the third reconnaissance group is expected, but the paratroopers manage to break through. Tarasov decides to split his group and sends his deputy, Praporshchik (Soviet Warrant Officer) Volentir (played by Mihai Volontir), to the arranged rendezvous.
Meanwhile, a group of armed criminals has escaped from a nearby prison. Having killed and injured some locals, they are now hiding in the area to which Prap. Volentir is heading. He encounters the criminals at a forest warden's hut, where they ambush him, badly injuring him. But Volentir is skilled in martial arts and knocks them all down. He calls the local police authorities on his radio, thus unmasking himself as the rival counter-reconnaissance.
Tarasov's group comes back together and reaches its target, but it turns out to be a fake underground construction built merely to deceive, and the pursuers are closing in rapidly. Tarasov, an inexperienced young graduate of the Ryazan Airborne Military Command School, is desperate. He violently smashes everything within reach, finally sitting down crying and mumbling, "Like a kid, they treat me like a kid!". The wise and experienced Volentir encourages him and urges him to continue the quest, but he himself stays in the bunker to keep the pursuers at bay while the others escape.
By chance, Volentir finds an enemy communication cable and quickly figures out that it can lead them directly to the HCO.
There are fifteen minutes left before the mass paratroopers drop, and the "Southern" air force is now carrying thousands of paratroopers. Airborne commanding officers are shown sitting in the flying aircraft with their parachutes on, and still without information as to the location of the HCO and where to make the mass drop. They don't even know if Tarasov's group is still at large or already apprehended.
The film's title is a reference to the sector on the map located beyond the reach of radar, considered by "Southern" officers to be a "High Attention Area", where a rival HCO could be located.
The main characters do not wear the standard camouflage gear of the Russian Airborne Troops, but outfits custom made in the sewing workshop of the Mosfilm studio.
A lot of scenes were cut from the movie for reasons of military secrecy.
At first, release of the film was forbidden. The State Political Directorate issued a note prohibiting "a movie glorifying a power of our army, because it will play into the hands of the enemies of international détente".
In an interview in February 2007, director Andrei Malyukov said that he still did not know in which countries his movie had been released, this being restricted information. It went to a few dozen countries, however.