23-year-old Muscovite pastry chef Kseniya is very busy with her new second-chance romantic relationship, while her 7-year-old son Artyom, suffering from the pain of his parents separation, hides in a world of fantasy every time he feels like been hurt or lonely. In his (children's theater play inspired) fantasies he sees himself as a superhero Kosmoboy, who, together with a giant Kind Robot battles against the terrifying monster robot Mrakovlast ("Darklord").
Everything changes when on August 5th, 2008 Kseniya decides to take a vacation in Sochi with her new boyfriend Yegor. At the same time she gets a call from her ex-husband and Artyom's father Ossetian Zaur, who serves as a peacekeeper in South Ossetia. He tells her he misses Artyom very much and asks her to send the boy to his parents, who live in the village of Sidamonta, right next to the administrative border separating South Ossetia from the rest of Georgia. Zaur assures her that everything is perfectly safe. As Yegor can not find understanding with Artyom and Kseniya needs some private time with her new lover, after some hesitation, she agrees, but on the condition that Zaur sends her son back immediately as soon as she asks him to. When Kseniya learns about the beginning of war, she contacts with Artyom and learns that he remained alone. Realizing, that nobody can help her and there is no possibility to forward Artyom back to Russia, she goes to conflict epicenter to salvage her son.
The viewer is given the opportunity to see how in the 7-year-old boy's eyes the South Ossetian conflict becomes a fiction thriller, in which military technology is transformed into alien monsters, and the mother takes the shape of Kind Robot. Kseniya will go through many dangers but for the sake of her son she will be able to triumph over fear. The South Ossetia conflict will change her idea of vital values forever.
August Eighth (Russian: «Август. Восьмого», translit. Avgust. Vosʹmogo) is a 2012 Russian action drama film about the 2008 South Ossetia war. This is the third film ever on this theme.
The film tells the story of a young, single mother who is compelled to make her way, at risk of her life, to South Ossetia where her son is. She had sent him there on the eve of the conflict. The film is divided into two alternate realities: one shows the war through the eyes of the boy as a science fiction story about fighting robots, and the other shows the war from the perspective of his mother. As opposed to the preceding Olympus Inferno and 5 Days of War, this film is not advertised officially as "The Struggle for Truth", although it also was subsidized by the government. The film was recognized as a socially important project and was filmed at the expense of the Russian State Fund for Social and Economic Support of national cinematography.
The distributor of the film is Twentieth Century Fox CIS — a Russian distributor of 20th Century Fox. The Russian premiere took place on February 21, 2012 in theaters and on November 4th of the same year on TV on Channel One. Dzhanik Fayziev dedicated this film to all women in his life who took part in his upbringing
Kseniya (Svetlana Ivanova), a 23-year-old Muscovite pastry chef, is very busy with her new second-chance romantic relationship, while her 7-year-old son Artyom (Artyom Fadeev), suffering from the pain of his parents separation, hides in a world of fantasy every time he feels like been hurt or lonely. In his (children's theater play inspired) fantasies he sees himself as a superhero Kosmoboy, who, together with a giant Kind Robot (face and voice of Egor Beroev) battles against the terrifying monster robot Mrakovlast ("Darklord"). Everything changes when on August 5th, 2008 Kseniya gets a call from her ex-husband and Artyom's father Ossetian Zaur (Egor Beroev), who serves as a peacekeeper in South Ossetia. He misses Artyom very much and asks her to send the boy to his parents, who live in the village of Sidamonta, right next to the administrative border separating South Ossetia from the rest of Georgia. Zaur assures her that everything is perfectly safe. Kseniya, after some hesitation, agrees, because she wants to take a vacation in Sochi with her new boyfriend, a bank employee, Yegor (Aleksandr Oleshko), who can't find understanding with Artyom and Kseniya needs some private time with her new lover. But she agrees under a condition, that Zaur sends her son back immediately as soon as she asks him to.
On August 7th, after her son's departure, Kseniya learns from Internet articles that South Ossetia is turning into a conflict zone. She calls Zaur and demands that Artyom is brought back to Russia. Zaur, seeing his parents happy with their so-missed grandson, and Artyom obviously enjoying his vacation in the Caucasus, tries to convince Kseniya, that those Internet articles are maybe not true, but she does not want to listen to him. Ksenia, having a bad feeling, comes to Ygor in his bank, but unexpectedly he proves himself to be from very ugly party, when he says to her, that he least wants to be got involved in her family problems and said, the "she's like a little, because she should be taught throughout". And when they go into the elevator, then Yegor clearly gives her to understand that he even taught her to really feel the sexual orgasm, and he is sure that she does not pretend. To humiliate Yegor in response, Ksenia begins to repeat: "Yeah, Yegor, Yeah!" and repeats it each time louder until it becomes clear that she simulates an orgasm, copying well known scene from When Harry Met Sally. Other people in the elevator silently begin to laugh and when the elevator doors opened, Kseniya, together with the other leaves, and humiliated Yegor continues to stand still. Ksenia flies to Vladikavkaz, where she takes a bus through the Roki tunnel into the pre-war South Ossetia. Suddenly, the bus is exposed to attack of the ATGM. Kseniya and several other passengers miraculously survive.
Russian military reconnaissance unit assists in their evacuation. Among them is the commander of the reconnaissance Lyoha (Maxim Matveev). Kseniya persuades him to take her to Ossetian capital Tskhinvali and turns on the central square of Tskhinvali on a memorable night from 7th to 8th August 2008, when the city was hit by BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launchers. Kseniya manages to reach the refugee camp in Dzau. Along the way she calls Zaur, who is driving to Sidamonta to evacuate his parents and Artyom. They both decide to meet in Dzau. But Zaur's attempt to evacuate his parents and Artyom falls. When they sit down in his jeep, he and his parents were killed by shells fired by the Georgian tank, and Artyom runs into deep shock from the seen. In Dzau, Kseniya waiting for them to come and calls Artyom on his mobile phone. Artyom, who had just regained consciousness after the explosion, picks it up, but being in a state of shock, only a whisper: "Mrakovlast was here... Mrakovlast killed all...". Realising that nobody can help her, she decides to goe into the war zone to save her son. Situation becomes complicated that Artyom has a slipping wound in his temple and he starts to be exposed to hallucinations because of a loss of blood, hiding everything is deeper in the world of his illusions. At the same time Kseniya and Zaur's friend Ilya (Khasan Baroyev) with Russian military convoy and journalists get ambushed (events based on real clash between staff convoy of 58th Russian Army and Georgian army) and Ilya dies killed by Georgian soldier. Ksenya is saved by Lyoha and his comrade, who observed attack on convoy as recon.
Lyoha's recon unit has assignment to assist Russian peacekeepers holding defence against Georgian army and evacuate refugees. Kseniya persuades Lyoha to take her along, since peacekeeper's base is not far from home where her son is hiding. En route to the base Lyoha appears to be smart and professional soldier: when Russian vehicles jump right in front of shooting Georgian tank, Lyoha is cold and counting from 1 to 7, because recharging time of tank gun is 6 seconds. On count seven, both Russian vehicles make sudden turn thus escaping tank's artillery fire. When recon unit reaches the base, Lyoha finds out that quantity of refugees is ten times more than initially reported and his unit simply has no transport to evacuate them all. The only solution is to move all refugees from peacekeeper's base still under attack and seek for transport. This will take 6–7 hours before Lyoha can assist Ksenya and she decides to reach her son alone. Lyoha has no choice but accept it, provides Ksenia with flashlight, map and walkie-talkie and starts evacuation or refugees blocking line of Georgian fire with Russian tank which ammunition has run out (this episode also reported being based on real story). Refugees and Ksenya successfully evacuated from the base and separate, Kseniya running to save her son.
Ksenya luckily sneaked past small Georgian army unit, busy repairing one of their Jeeps and finds her son, but he is wounded and unable to walk. In despair, she returns to location of Georgian soldiers and steals one of their cars. Soldiers seeing one of their Jeeps escaping start to shoot, but too late to stop her. Kseniya picks up her son just seconds before Georgian soldiers appear nearby hunting for their stolen car. Trying to escape them Ksenya rushes with her car right in the middle of large Georgian army position. One of Georgian tanks shoots at invisible Russian positions, but starts to turn his main gun to fire at Ksenya's car as soon as they noticed her. Ksenya recalls her experience of traveling with recon unit and counts to seven. On count seven she sharply turns the wheel, tank fires but misses her, destroying Georgian armored vehicle instead. Georgian positions are taking large field and Ksenya evidently going to be captured or shot, but at this moment Sukhoi Su-25 wing makes massive air strike on position of Georgian army and Ksenya is driving out of resulting chaos.
Feeling safety she stops the car but assaulted by Georgian soldier (Aleksandr Khoshabaev ) who wants to get her car to retreat from approaching Russian army. Kseniya explains him that her son is wounded and she had stolen Georgian Jeep to save him. She begs soldier to let her go argumenting that soldier's mother would do the same for him. Georgian soldier accepts her arguments though his slowly approaching and evidently wounded comrade shouts "just shoot her". Soldier explains that Kseniya will be immediately shot by Russians as soon as they will see approaching Georgian military vehicle. He proposes to get her as close as possible to Russian positions and she agrees. Soldier drives Jeep with Kseniya away from his wounded comrade who curses in response to his command "wait here". Soldier drops Kseniya in vicinity of approaching Russian tanks and returns back, encouragingly signalling a honk and waving his hand. Kseniya walks over hilltop to approaching Russian tanks and leading tank stops right in front of her. Tank commander asks her if she speaks Russian and after she nodds shortly demands her to get away from the road grumbling that having such tempo their tank will never reach Tbilisi. Ksenya just smiles, steps to the roadside and continues to walk towards masses of approaching Russian soldiers.
Her son is treated in the hospital and she is laying near him telling endless story about Cosmoboy and Kind Robot, but suddenly her son interrups her and asking her to tell story about his father, not about robots. Later they wait for helicopter evacuating them to Russia and Lyoha finds them both, while they are waiting for boarding. Ksenya is happy to see him and asks about results of war. Lyoha shortly replies "The war is over. We won. Stopped in Gori". Both Ksenya and Artyom cheerfully say goodbye to Lyoha and board helicopter.
In the next scene answering machine in Kseniya's apartment is shown playing numerous messages from Yegor who says he is "missing her for the whole day that passed" and asking to excuse him. The last message however is from Lyoha who simply tells "Hi, Kseniya".
Svetlana Ivanova as Kseniya
Maksim Matvyeev as commander of the reconnaissance Aleksyei "Lyoha"
Konstantin Samoukov as Lieutenant Grigoryi "Grishka"
Egor Beroev as Zaur/Kind Robot
Aleksandr Oleshko as Yegor/obstetrician
Artyom Fadeev as Artyom
Khasan Baroyev as captain Ilya
Vladimir Vdovichenkov as President of Russia
Anna Legchilova as Kseniya's mother
Aleksei Guskov as Kazbek Nikolaevich
Gosha Kutsenko as Himself
Estelle Raskin as foreign journalist
Mitya Labush as journalist, killed in an armored personnel carrier
Lidiya Velezheva as Aza
Tyeimuraz Taniya as "controller" in the bus on Tskhinvali
Vladimir Zaitsev as Russian Defense Minister
Valeryi Kudashkin as Chairman of the FSB
Tamara Gamgiya as Zaur's mother
Lyeonid Khishba as Zaur's father
Aleksandr Karamnov as Colonel peacekeeping forces Romanov
Aleksandr Khoshabaev as Georgian soldier
Kirill Pletnev as tanker
Yekaterina Avdyeeva as Kosmoboy in the play
Dzhanik Fayziev as Mrakovlast/director of the play
Even at the initial stage of the film Fayziev said that this film — "is the story of the events on a global scale, as shown through the prism of the fate and actions of ordinary people, whose main character encounters during her "adventure"". The central plot of the story is based on two true stories. The first is based on the history Dzhanik Fayziev's friend, who dragged his ex-girlfriend from South Ossetia in August 2008 (both survived, but their love did not have a happy end). The second was based on Dzhanik Fayziev's girlfriend, who was a single mother, which had a son, who represented from himself the Angry Robot each time, when Fayziev tried to talk to him (Fayziev eventually realized that boy with the help of this Robot dissociated himself from all his mother's lovers). Fayziev, thinking up the plot, inspired by his favorite movie Black Hawk Down and Saving Private Ryan.
The film was shot in the period from March to August 2011. Most of the scenes of South Ossetia were shot in Abkhazia and North Ossetia–Alania. The majority of the extras consisted of Abkhazians, but the characters, who speak on Ossetian, were played or were dubbed by North Ossetian actors.
The official trailer was created in Av Squad.
The very first display of the film took place in Moscow on February 17, 2012 at a cinema "Pushkinski". The All-Russia premiere took place on February 21, 2012. The premiere was dated for Defender of the Fatherland Day, because of what the film had very rigid competition. Though in the first week of film distribution the film was in the lead on a box office among the Russian films and collected more than 140 000 000 rubles (about 5 000 000 dollars) for the first weekend, "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance" kept the first position on collecting in the Russian film distribution during this period, having collected about 240 000 000 rubles. In total Russian box office made about 10 000 000 dollars, that there was much less box office of the Faiziyev's previous film "Turkish Gambit" which cost all 4 million dollars, but only in the Russian film distribution the film collected 18 million dollars.
The first display of the film with English subtitles took place in Australia on September 1, 2012 under the title "August 8th" within Russian Resurrection Film Festival 2012.
In Russia the film was released on DVD (Region 5) on March 22nd, 2012 and on Blu-ray (Region С) on June 14th, 2012. Both editions don't contain any subtitles.