Thursday, February 22, 2007

And the winner is...

From ENI:

Feature film about Orthodox monk sweeps Russian film awards

Sophia Kishkovsky
Moscow (ENI). A feature film about repentance - as embodied by a Russian Orthodox monk tormented by his wartime past - has swept top prizes at Russia's main film awards ceremony. "Ostrov," or "Island," took six Zolotoi Oryol, or Golden Eagle awards, including best film, director and actor at a ceremony on 27 January.

The film stars Pyotr Mamonov, a Soviet-era underground rock star who has become a devout Orthodox believer and now lives in an isolated village. It was directed by Pavel Lungin, previously most famous for "Taxi Blues", a perestroika-era film also starring Mamonov, and "Tycoon: A New Russian," a fictionalised take on the rise of Boris Berezovsky, a controversial magnate now living in British exile.

In his acceptance speech, compared by some Russian media to a sermon, Mamonov condemned his own popularity as idolatry and called on Russian women to stop having abortions.

Structured like a parable, "Ostrov" tells the tale of Father Anatoly, a fictional monk who for decades seeks God's forgiveness for shooting a fellow soldier at the Nazis' behest during the Second World War to save his own life. The film is set in the 1970s in a remote northern island monastery, a timeframe for which some have taken the film to task since the church was then still repressed by the State.

Patriarch Alexei II, and other senior clerics, praised "Ostrov" for its profound depiction of faith and monastic life. Addressing a church conference on 29 January, the Patriarch called "Ostrov" a "vivid example of an effort to take a Christian approach to culture".

"Ostrov", which was the closing film at the 2006 Venice Film Festival, was also a top box office draw in Russia's state-of-the-art new Dolby-outfitted multiplexes after its November release, playing alongside Hollywood blockbusters. Its television broadcast on 7 January, the Russian Christmas, drew ratings during the extended holiday season, second only to President Vladimir Putin's New Year's Eve address.

Lungin has said of his film: "We tried to convey in it, a sense that there is a God, that we are not alone on this earth."


Update: Four short clips from the movie with subtitles can be found here. This looks like a must see movie.

Hat tip to EYTYXOC


EYTYXOC said...

Watch a nice long (15 minutes) series of 3 or 4 segments from the movie here.

Click where it says "View the Video"

Ad Orientem said...

Thanx for the link. This looks like an awesome movie.

EYTYXOC said...

Our priest was given a copy of the DVD, but hasn't watched it yet. His DVD is all in Russian, though, no subtitles - but he speaks/reads Russian. We'll just have to wait. It's available in a PAL format DVD for around $30 or $40, depending where you buy it on the Internet. But a multiregion DVD player will play a PAL DVD a bit faster than normal on American NTSC TVs, I've been told. I'll just wait to see it on TV on Sundance or IFC, or wait for the NTSC-format DVD to hit the shelves. Also, the PAL DVD may be in fullscreen, from some of the specs I read. This movie looks like it should be seen in widescreen to be fully appreciated. Let's pray/hope for a nice American DVD release, and soon.

Sophocles said...

Dear John and Eytyxoc

I hope I'm not re-posting here, John, as that I posted esrlier here to comment. But, I watched this film last night with my brother who has seen it 3 times now. We watched it on his XBox as our normal DVD would not play it. My reaction? Beautiful. Wonderful. Please watch it and get everyone you can to watch it also.
I anxiously await when America will produce a movie infused with the same Spirit that produced this one. The American public has yet to be exposed to the wonderful Orthodox Catholic Faith on the scale that I believe it will be in the future as Orthodoxy has its inevitable leavening effect. Have you guys seen it yet? What was your reaction?