A married couple are faced with a difficult decision - to improve the life of their child by moving to another country or to stay in Iran and look after a deteriorating parent who has Alzheimer's disease.
A teacher lives a lonely life, all the while struggling over his son's custody. His life slowly gets better as he finds love and receives good news from his son, but his new luck is about to be brutally shattered by an innocent little lie.
Thomas Bo Larsen,
The film required a larger budget than it may seem because the filmmakers wanted "Izgnanie" to be "out of time and place" and did their best so the audience would not guess where and when the film took place. Even car plates and signboards were designed specially for the film. The props were bought in Germany, the "town" part of the film was shot in Belgium and northern France, and the "country" part was shot in Moldova. See more »
Russian screenwriter and director Andrey Zvyagintsev's second feature film which was written by screenwriters Oleg Negin and Artyom Melkumian, is based on a novel from 1953 called "The Laughing Matter" by Armenian-American author William Saroyan (1908-1981). It premiered In competition at the 60th Cannes International Film Festival in 2007, was shot on locations in Russia, Moldova, Belgium and France and is a Russian production which was produced by Russian producer Dimitry Lesnevsky. It tells the story about a man named Alexandr who lives on the Russian countryside with his wife Vera, their daughter Eva and their son Kir. Besides visits from their neighboring family and Alexandr's interactions with his friend Mark, Alexandr and Vera lives a rather quiet life with their young children and seems happy all though they barely talk to each other, but one late night after the children have said their prayers and gone to bed, Vera surprises her husband with a shocking confession that leaves her despaired by his reaction.
Distinctly and masterfully directed by Russian filmmaker Andrey Zvyagintsev, this rhythmic fictional tale which is narrated from multiple viewpoints, draws a consistently involving and heartrending portrayal of a man whom withdraws into a reflective state of mind and avoids his wife after learning something that she has kept hidden from him. While notable for it's naturalistic and distinct milieu depictions, sterling production design by production designer Andrey Ponkratov, masterful cinematography by Russian cinematographer Mikhail Krichman, fine costume design and brilliant use of sound and colors, this character-driven, narrative-driven and humane psychological drama where an intangible mist creates a distance between a conflicted married couple, depicts two interrelated and internal studies of character and contains a cryptic score by composers Arvo Pärt and Andrei Dergachov.
This mysterious story which examines themes like family, marriage, grief and reconciliation, where the real drama goes on behind the faces of the quiet though expressive characters and where Andrey Zvyagintsev leads his camera like Tolstoy wrote his words and Rembrandt painted his canvases, is impelled and reinforced by it's cogent narrative structure, substantial character development, esoteric characters, the children's powerful presence, excellent editing, melancholic atmosphere, cinematic poetry and the low-keyed and prominent acting performances by Russian actor Konstantin Lavronenko and Norwegian actress Maria Bonnevie. A cinematographic and hypnotic journey into man's searching mentality and a metaphysical masterpiece in the spirit of Andrei Tarkovsky (1932-1986) where a singular universe is created by the sounds of falling raindrops, birds singing and trees moving in the wind.
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