The Russian poet Gortchakov, accompanied by guide and translator Eugenia, is traveling through Italy researching the life of an 18th century Russian composer. In a ancient spa town, he meets the lunatic Domenico, who years earlier had imprisoned his own family in a barn to save them from the evils of the world. As Eugenia seeks to tempt Gortchakov into infidelity, he, seeing some deep truth in Domenico's act, becomes drawn to the lunatic. In a series of dreams, the poet's nostalgia for his homeland and his longing for his wife, his ambivalent feelings for Eugenia and her Italy, and his sense of kinship with Domenico become intertwined. Written by
Did You Know?
This was Andrey Tarkovsky's first film directed outside of the USSR. It was supposed to be filmed in Italy with the support of Mosfilm, with most of the dialogue in Italian. When Mosfilm support was inexplicably withdrawn, Tarkovsky used part of the budget provided by Italian State Television and French film company Gaumont to complete the film in Italy and cut some Russian scenes from the screenplay, while recreating Russian locations for other scenes in Italy. See more
Where am I when I'm not in reality or in my imagination? Here's my new pact to the world: it must be sunny at night and snowy at August. Great things end, small things endure. Society must become united again instead of so disjointed. Just look at nature and you'll see that life is simple. We must go back to where we were to the point where you took the wrong turn. We must go back to the main foundations of life without dirtying the water. What kind of world is this if a madman tells you must ...