In 1988, Platon Makowski and four friends, brilliant young university students, abandon science to make their mark in the dubious post-Soviet business world. In the economic chaos that follows, Platon dreams up with disconcerting ease a thousand and one surprising financial schemes within an inch of illegality, that enable him to thwart constant opposition from the authorities. His first steps toward capitalism allow him to amass an immense fortune. Constructed like a thriller, the film follows the police investigation into an assassination attempt on Platon. We are drawn into the private worlds and exploits of these complex and unconventional characters, who cheat people and the state of their possessions, while at the same time embodying the living force of a country paralyzed by the fear of change and inertia. "Un nouveau russe" is the saga of the past 15 years in Russia. "Once upon a time, there was Russia...," during a time of incredible upheavals endured by the country.
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