Russia, 1916. Be it by craft or madness, Rasputin exercises power over the indecisive Nicholas, and the religious Czarina worships the Siberian as God. He manipulates the Czar in his relations with the Duma and influences the choice of a new premier. Rasputin assaults a baroness; her husband is jailed for defending her, and she must offer sexual favors to Rasputin to save her husband. The Czar finally orders Rasputin from St. Petersburg, but somehow he enters the palace and, in a disheveled trance, convinces the Czar to make a disastrous change in war strategy. A cadre of nobles take matters into their own hands and arrange a last dinner party for the interloping monk. Written by
A thick layer of muddy water is shown to cover the bottom of Rasputin's grave. A loud splash is heard when the coffin is dropped into it. In reality, Rasputin was buried in January, in the middle of a cold, Russian, winter, which precluded there being ANY water in the grave. (the Tsar's Diary says 'Minus 12'.) See more »
I don't understand russian language and I'm not very familiar to russian history, but the events told in this film make a very strong and exciting experience. Much of this is due to Elem Klimovs very conscious use of cinematic methods. The mad monk (Rasputin) as an evil force in russian politics is portrayed with great force. Klimov seems to be one of the great cinematic poets and dramatist who can tell a story of violent and dramatic political events, and also of private and psychological conditions. The actors are first rate in every aspect and make this cruel story a memorable, thrilling and moving experience. Agoniya means of course agony, and that is what the imperial family and the political elite in Russia went trough these years. Klimov had to do some compromises, but this film is in any way a masterpiece.
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