Ali Hamroyev Films
The Seventh Bullet
Director: Ali Hamroyev
USSR, Uzbekistan, 1972, 84’, color
Cast: Suimenkul Chokmorov, Dilorom Kambarova, Bolot Bejshenaliyev, Talgat Nigmatulin, Melis Abzalov
Russian with Turkish subtitles
Sergio Leone's westerns were very popular in the Soviet Union, where they inspired a series of "Red Westerns" (aka "Eastern Westerns" and "Sov-Easterns") often set during the Basmachi Revolt of the 1920s, which pitted Islamic traditionalists against Communist reformers in Central Asia. Co-scripted by Andrei Konchalovsky, The Seventh Bullet centers on Maxumov, a Red Army officer whose men are persuaded to switch sides by the charismatic Basmachi leader Khairulla. In a daring move, Maxumov allows himself to be captured and brought to Khairulla's stronghold, where he struggles to regain the hearts and minds of his apostate soldiers. The ideological battles (presented with remarkable ambiguity) are matched by slam-bang shootouts and chases.