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Citizen X (Full Screen)

4.8 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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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 55 customer reviews
  • ASIN: 0783116934
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #9,190 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Citizen X (DVD)

Customer Reviews

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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: DVD
If I say this is a movie about a serial killer you might easily get the wrong idea. Since "Silence of the Lambs" especially, the typical serial killer film has been very much in the horror mode with the drama arising from the graphically depicted ghastliness of the crimes, the fear of the endangered (who typically include the, often improbably nubile, investigator) and the crazed madness of the perpetrator. This is very definitely not that sort of movie and the change is a welcome one. Instead it's just a really rather good police procedural in which Stephen Rea's Lt. Burakov and Donald Sutherland's Col. Fetisov spend years desperately on the trail of the unknown person who just keeps killing - mainly young - people. Burakov and Fetisov are serious cops, desperate to find the guy and put a stop to it but their big problem is that they work in Soviet Russia in a hopeless beaurocratic system and must constantly struggle against managers whose priorities are depressingly different. In fact the main villain of the piece, at least at a dramatic level, is not the killer so much as the stupid and bullying senior apparatchik Bondarchuk played by Joss Ackland in a performance that steals the movie. It is Burakov and Fetisov's conflict with Bondachurk and their evolving friendship with one another that give the film its main dramatic momentum. The actual killer, well played by Jeffrey DeMunn, turns out not to be some energized and charismatically evil Hannibal Lecter type but a rather pathetic impotent loser who, once safely locked up, inspires more pity than terror. Oh, and at no point does he chase either of the heroes round a dark building with a knife. This makes for a lot less high-octane action than other films of this genre but the result is considerably more intelligent and believable.
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