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Citizen X (Full Screen)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Donald Sutherland, Stephen Rea, Max Von Sydow
  • Directors: Chris Gerolmo
  • Format: Color, DVD-Video, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Canadian Home Video Rating : Ages 18 and over
  • Studio: HBO
  • Release Date: July 11 2000
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0783116934
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #10,294 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Citizen X (DVD)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Leach on June 12 2004
Format: DVD
Ted Bundy. Jeffrey Dahmer. Andrei Chikatilo. Andrei Chikatilo? While the first two names are instantly recognizable, that last one raises shoulders. He belongs with the likes of Bundy, however, because Andrei Chikatilo was one of the most fearsome serial killers the modern world has ever seen. His murderous rampages took place in the former Soviet Union during the 1970s and 1980s, during a time when the hammer and sickle flew proudly over the Kremlin, Russian troops invaded Afghanistan, and Jimmy Carter boycotted the Olympics. He preyed on children riding trains, killing over fifty of them before the authorities finally brought him to justice. Chikatilo's trial, which took place after the fall of communism, saw the monster secured in a large cage in the courtroom as the parents of the victims wept, fainted, and hurled invectives at the seemingly mild mannered man. They had a good reason to be angry. For years, Chikatilo killed with impunity within a system that termed serial killers a "decadent western phenomenon," a system that continually ignored, mismanaged, and outright lied about the horrors unfolding in the forests around Rostov, the city where Chikatilo lived and practiced his abhorrent activities. Fortunately, the court found Andrei Chikatilo guilty of mass murder and imposed a sentence of capital punishment. Thanks to Russian prison authorities, Chikatilo has since exited this mortal coil.
"Citizen X" is more than the story of Andrei Chikatilo, a marvelously acted, written, and directed tale that succeeds because it goes beyond the story of a killer to tell a truth about communism and the former Soviet Union. The story begins when a local cop brings in a body to the office of the new forensic pathologist in Rostov, Viktor Burakov (Stephen Rea).
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Format: DVD
From Robert Cullen's true crime novel, "The Killer Department" comes HBO Studio's "Citizen X". Originally cablecast on HBO February 25, 1995, Donald Sutherland won the Golden Globe for Supporting Role Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture Made for TV in 1996 and also the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Special in 1995.
Based on the true story of the eight year long manhunt in communist Soviet Union (1982 - 1990) for one of the most savage and elusive serial killers on record - Andrei Chikatilo (a chilling Jeffrey DeMunn).
The story starts out with newbie forensic pathologist, Viktor Burakov (a great Stephen Rea), and his first cadaver that comes into the morgue. A quick nightime search of the wooded area where the body was found is completed with eight MORE bodies found in varying degrees of decomposition and desication. All are children, boys and girls alike and have been murdered, raped and mutilated in some very odd ways.
Viktor, somehow, is put in charge of the WHOLE blessed case by Colonel Mikhail Fetisov (Donald Sutherland). With Viktor now being forensic expert, detective, and case cracker extraordinaire, he is more than a little wary of his own capabilites and feels like the only man who cares about these horrific murders that are taking place.
The investigation continues on for many years with many murders being committed over time because the case is being buried under the communist parties' government red tape and "poo pooing" by the Colonel's superior and sinister leader, Bondarchuk (Joss Ackland).
Thankfully and finally the cold war hits and Viktor is given permission to bring in a psychiatrist, Dr. Alexandr Bukhanovsky (Max von Sydow) to create a psychological profile of the serial rapist and murder.
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Format: VHS Tape
Two things induced me to watch this film. One was that it intrigued me how serial killers can get away with it for so long. Britain's own most steadfast practitioner, the final count of whose victims, correct to the nearest hundred, has still to be determined, was the chairman of the parent/teacher association at the school my children attended, stepping down from his post the year before my elder first went there, so the issue was to that extent rather close to home. Britain, I thought, was one thing - we have been short of police for quite a while. The Soviet Union, I thought, was surely quite another. Whatever its shortcomings, I never heard of lack of police being one of them. My other motivator was to try to get a feel for how the investigation and prosecution was conducted in a totalitarian state. My belief in democracy is unwavering, but where public interest is aroused it is getting more and more difficult to understand how an impartial jury can be assembled. Less of a problem where news is subject to official control, I imagined.
The first thing I commend about this film is that it does not try to keep fighting the cold war. There are no heavy lessons in the virtues of Freedom and Democracy. The parties involved, even regrettably the killer Chikitilo himself, were ordinary sorts of people behaving much as one might expect in any stable society. We get a reminder of where all this is going on when Stephen Rea as the reluctant but dogged investigator expresses anxiety to his wife that he could be called for in the small hours, but the film sticks to its brief of telling a story rather than preaching or philosophising.
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