MOSCOW (AP) -- Russian news agencies say film director Vasily Pichul, whose gritty perestroika-era movie "Little Vera" attracted international attention, has died at age 54.
The 1988 movie caused a sensation at home for sex scenes that were unusually revealing for generally prudish Soviet cinema. It was also straightforwardly critical of Soviet society and provincial mores. Vera is both the lead character's name and the Russian word for faith.
The movie won Pichul awards at the Venice and Montreal film festivals. He went on to direct other films as well as television programs.
The reports said he died Sunday, but no cause of death was stated.