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The Priest (III) (2010)
"Pop" (original title)

 -  Drama | History | War  -  4 April 2010 (Russia)
7.0
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Father Alexander is trying to maintain peaceful life for his church amidst the Nazi occupation during WWII.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sergey Makovetskiy ...
Otets Aleksandr Ionin
Nina Usatova ...
Matushka Alevtina
Elizaveta Arzamasova ...
Eva (as Liza Arzamasova)
Kirill Pletnyov ...
Aleksandr Lugotintsev
Anatoliy Lobotskiy ...
Freygauzen
Yuriy Tsurilo ...
Mitropolit Sergey
Viktoriya Romanenko ...
Masha
Stepan Morozov ...
Vladykin
Gennadiy Garbuk ...
Nikolay Toroptsev
Aleksandr Doronin ...
Otets Georgiy Benigsen
Vadim Zhuk ...
Moisey Suskin
Nikolay Ryabychin ...
Stepan
Aleksandr Zavyalov ...
Rozanov
Egor Shik ...
Kostik Toroptsev
Anna Gulyarenko ...
Timofeeva
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Storyline

Set in Russia and based on the true story happened during WWII. Father Alexander (Makovetsky) is making every effort to maintain peaceful life for his church during the Nazi occupation. His mission is to survive through the deadly war and save the civilians. But he is only a human... Written by Steve Shelokhonov

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Drama | History | War

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Release Date:

4 April 2010 (Russia)  »

Also Known As:

The Priest  »

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Award from the Latvian Orthodox Church for director Vladimir Khotinenko. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Another long step forward for Russian WWII cinema
6 June 2010 | by (Moscow & New York) – See all my reviews

"The Priest"/Поп joins several recent Russian entries (including "Punishment Batallion"/Штрафбат and two or three of the set-pieces within Sergei Mikhalkov's ponderous "Burnt by the Sun- 2"/ Утомленные солцем- 2) as part of a de facto common effort to rescue post-Soviet cinema from the stereotypes, fables and large-scale falsification that the Soviet movie industry was largely confined to for most of the period covering 1942-91-- and managed to pass along, if only as a mindset, to many in the succeeding Russian industry and general public after the Soviet Union finally went out of business (not a moment too soon).

For every rare kernel of truth-- and there were indeed a few in "Ballada of a Soldier"/ Баллада о солдате and "Come and See"/ Иди и смотри, for example-- there were 20 (or 200 or 2000) Big Lie whoppers planted within the waves of propaganda films masquerading as cinema (and not very well) that Soviet audiences were subjected to for half a century. Setting all this aside has not, of course, been easy-- particularly when you have figures like the mayor of Moscow adamantly insisting that Stalin should be honored as part of the nation's celebration of the 65th anniversary of victory in the war. Yikes.

"The Priest" profits enormously from Sergei Makovetsky in the lead, an actor whose range is among the broadest in the profession (Evgenii Mironov is his principal competition). The film is less plot-driven than episodic-- which is as it should be, since its premise is a plot unto itself: a Russian Orthodox priest functions under German occupation on territory that has changed hands multiple times over a single generation. Whom to serve and how are all the "plot" necessary; and the answers on offer are not pat.

Russian viewers have taken home much that is new to them from this film, and non-Russian audiences, even those unfamiliar with the contested history of the region, will likewise find considerable food for thought here. Briefly put, "The Priest" will reward different audiences on many levels, and deserves wide distribution outside (current) Russian borders. Highly recommended.


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