The Soviet war in Afghanistan was a tragic era in the history of Afghanistan. But a good thing that came out of it was the movies about it. If you’re a sucker for war movies these movies about the Soviet war in Afghanistan are made for you.
15. 9th Company (2005)
9th Company was a milestone in Russian cinema in terms of filming and visual effects. This movie set a high bar for other movies made about this war.
The movie follows the 9th company which was outnumbered by the rebels on Hill 3234 in the last leg of the war. The soldiers who survived the war died in the chaos of the Soviet collapse in 1991. The movie is based on real events but there are differences of opinion about the survival of the soldiers.
14. Leaving Afghanistan (2019)
This recent Russian movie was released after a long break from this topic in Russian cinema.
The movie shows the events of the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan. A division of the Soviet Army has to pass through the Salang Tunnel but the problem is that it’s controlled by the rebels. Lt. Vasily volunteers to become a hostage of the Afghan leader to help the division cross the tunnel. But it’s a risky game, one wrong move and he might have to pay the price with his life.
13. Afghan Breakdown (1992)
Made as a joint venture of Italy and the USSR, Afghan Breakdown casts famous Italian actor and director Michele Placido in the lead role.
The movie depicts the eve of the Soviet Army’s withdrawal from Afghanistan. The severe fighting even at the end of the war has some of the most intense fighting scenes. The movie stands out from others on the topic because it focuses on the problems the common Afghans faced during the war.
12. Gruz 300 (1990)
The name of the movie is based on the military term for wounded soldiers. This movie shows the CIA’s and mercenaries’ plans and preps to ambush a large Soviet convoy. A US journalist is on the spot to cover the sensational news.
A great movie and storyline that takes you to the unique world of gorilla warfare through your screen.
11. Rambo 3 (1988)
Sylvester Stallone’s Rambo franchise is one of his most famous cinematography projects. The third installment of the classic action franchise follows Rambo as he heads to Afghanistan to save his former commander Col. Sam from the Soviets.
Rambo is willing to fight the whole army to save his friend and the people of Afghanistan from the invaders.
10. The Beast of War (1988)
A Soviet tank unit with a radical commander meant death for anyone who came in their way. When commander Daskal destroys a whole village in 1981 Afghanistan, Taj a villager vows to take revenge against them with the help of the mujahideen.
Meanwhile, the commander turns violent against his unit when he kills a member of his crew because of his Afghan ethnic background. He leaves the Koverchenko, the tank driver, for the mujahideen. When Taj finds Koverchenko he offers him refuge in exchange for his help against the ruthless tank unit. A movie that plays on loyalty, hate, and revenge. Worth a few hours of your weekend.
9. Charlie Wilson’s War (2007)
Based on true events, this movie follows US Rep. Charlie Wilson, CIA agent Gust Avrakotos, and Texas socialite Joanne Herring in the 1980s. The trio formed an unusual alliance to fund the Afgan freedom fighters against the Soviets.
They were eventually successful in their mission and the war ended in 1989. If you like this movie we recommend you watch the 2016 war comedy, War Dogs.
8. Peshavar Waltz (1994)
This movie is also known as Escape from Afghanistan. This film is directed by Russian director Timur Bekmambetov. This movie is based on actual events during the war in Afghanistan. It justifies the depiction of war times and lets us experience one of the most pivotal events during the Afghan-Soviet war, the Uprising in Badaber.
24 km from Peshawar, Pakistan in Badaber, prisoners of war rise and take over the base. But it doesn’t end well for the Soviet prisoners. A true prison break story. By the way, if you haven’t already watched the famous Prison Break TV series, you’re missing out big time.
7. The Kite Runner (2007)
Based on Khaled Hosseini’s famous novel of the same name, this movie is the story of two friends, Amir and Hassan. Amir was the son of a wealthy aristocrat and had a strong friendship with Hasan, his father’s servant’s son. While living in California as an immigrant Amir is summoned to Pakistan by Rahim Khan, an old friend of his father, who has little time to live.
During his childhood, Asif saw Hassan brutally assaulted by a local bully but he was too afraid to save his friend. Ever since that day, he has been tormented by the guilt of abandoning his friend. Will the trip to Pakistan finally bring him the closure he needs?
6. The Living Daylights (1987)
James Bond is known for elegantly knocking the daylights out of his enemies. In this 1987 Bond movie, Timothy Dalton plays Bond.
Bond uses information provided by KGB officer Georgi Koskov about the New KGB head, Leonid Pushkin’s, policy to assassinate defectors. While Bond investigates this he is faced with a new challenge. An American arms dealer and two Russian assassins are planning something big. We’ll leave you with a bit of suspense so you can enjoy following Bond on his mission.
5. The Soldier’s Star (2006)
Nikolai, a musician who joined the army, never imagined being captured in the rocky Afghani mountains. When the commander, Najammuddin finds out that Nikolai prevented an assault, he develops a soft corner for the infantryman.
4. Black Shark (1993)
Directed by Vitaliy Lukin, this action-packed movie is about a Soviet Ka-50 attack helicopter pilot who takes daunting missions to clear out Afghan mujahideen who are being supported by the Americans.
3. Ghame Afghan (1986)
This movie follows the hardships an Afghan peasant family faces during the Afghan-Soviet war.
A shepherd finds a wounded freedom fighter and carries him home but he dies during the night. The shepherd is arrested for murder. His family flees to Pakistan but the way to the refuge is rocky and deserted. The family is tormented and completely uprooted. This movie shows the very dark side of war that is beyond the battlefields.
2. Okhotniki za karavanami (2010)
A lot of damage can be done by inexperienced hands. When a Soviet Major was assigned to intercept a small caravan transporting the new Stinger air defense system, he wasn’t expecting a large heavily guarded vehicle.
The Major decides to let the caravan pass and return to his unit. But an inexperienced soldier suddenly opens fire. The Mujaheedin started firing back and a lot of the Soviet squad members were killed. Seven injured survivors, with no radio contact back to their unit, march 45 km back to their base.
1. Badaber Fortress – Mini-Series (2018)
When a Soviet intelligence officer goes on a mission into the Pakistani fortress in Badaber he completes his mission. But he doesn’t quietly exit the fortress because he finds an old friend imprisoned there, who had been listed as missing in action for several years.
The intelligence officer starts motivating the prisoners to riot and take over the fortress. Will he be successful in getting freedom for himself and his countrymen?
What are your favorite films about the Soviet War in Afghanistan? Feel free to comment below.