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Film / White Bim Black Ear

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White Bim Black Ear (Белый Бим Чёрное ухо) is a 1977 film from the Soviet Union, directed by Stanislas Rostotsky.

Bim is a Gordon setter dog. Bim is nearly drowned by the dog breeder who breeds him because, while Scottish setters are supposed to be black with reddish/brown patches, Bim is white, with black spots and one black ear.

Bim is rescued by Ivan Ivanovich (Vyacheslav Tikhonov), a retired writer. Master and dog go on hunts in the forest and form a close friendship. Unfortunately Ivan has a heart ailment caused at least in part by an old war wound. When Ivan is taken away to a hospital, Bim goes in search of his master.



  • All Dogs Are Purebred: Bim is a purebred Gordon setter, which is why his appearance is so bizarre. He gets kicked out of a dog show.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Might be a Downer Ending depending on the viewer. Poor Bim freezes to death in the back of a dogcatcher's truck. But Ivan rescues the other dog in the van, and the film ends the following spring, as Ivan watches Tolik and the new dog, also called Bim, cavorting in a meandow.
  • Blade-of-Grass Cut: Several lingering closeups of the leaves on the trees, in the early part of the film when Ivan and Bim go hunting in the woods.
  • The Cavalry Arrives Late: Ivan is released from the hospital and gets back, only to find that his dog froze to death in a dogcatcher's truck the night before.
  • Diabolical Dog Catcher: Averted. The dog catchers are just doing their jobs; they upbraid the bitchy neighbor for not taking care of Bim after she lies and says she's the owner. After they find out the truth, but too late to save poor Bim, the younger dogcatcher feels so guilty that he quits on the spot.
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  • Diabolus ex Machina: A do-gooder gets Bim a collar which gives his name and address. This safety measure is immediately ruined, however, by some random weirdo who steals and collects dog collars. He takes Bim's collar.
  • Epic Movie: Only the Russians could make a three-hour film about a lost dog.
  • Flashback: Apparently dogs can have them, as a bleeding, lost Bim sits down in the snow under a tree, and remembers sleeping under that same tree with his master.
  • Gossipy Hens: The mean old ladies who sit out in front of the apartment building and talk about people. One particularly mean old lady takes a dislike to Bim and tries to get him kicked out of the building.
  • The Hero Dies: If this film had been made by Disney there's a 100% chance that Bim and Ivan would have been reunited. But nope, it was made in Russia. Bim freezes to death, the night before his master comes home.
  • Karma Houdini: The awful, horrible bitch of a neighbor, who nearly got the dog destroyed earlier in the film, and eventually causes Bim's death when she claims she's his owner and hands him over to the dogcatchers. She faces no comeuppance whatsoever.
  • Match Cut: From a still photo of Bim to a live shot of Bim in the exact same position.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Tolik's dad seems to regret dumping Bim in the forest as soon as he does it. The next morning he goes back to look for Bim, and upon discovering that Bim slipped the leash, he puts a want ad in the paper.
  • P.O.V. Cam: From the POV of Bim romping through the fields as he goes hunting with Ivan.
  • Race Lift: Rather than scour the earth for an albino Gordon setter, the filmmakers got two English setters.
  • Slice of Life: The film is a portrait of Russian society—city folk and country folk, old and young, gentle and cruel, kind-hearted and mean. Different people react to the dog in different ways.
  • Whip Pan: One set of whip pans shows Bim in various different locations in the city, after the ambulance he followed to the hospital turns out to be the wrong one.


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