The czar of Russia has died and a power vacuum has developed. This period in the late 16th and early 17th century has been called "The Time of Troubles." There are many impostors who claim ... See full summary »
Somewhere in Northern Russia in a small Russian Orthodox monastery lives an unusual man whose bizarre conduct confuses his fellow monks, while others who visit the island believe that the man has the power to heal, exorcise demons and foretell the future.
It is the word "horde" that had meant, for many countries and nations, bloody raids and being under humilating contribution for centuries - a strange and scary world with its own rules and ... See full summary »
Third film based on Boris Akunin's "Priklucheniya Erasta Petrovicha Fandorina" series of novels. On a train from St. Petersburg to Moscow general Khrapov was killed and no one else but ... See full summary »
Europe, 1709. Russia and Sweden are at war. Two French duelists are exiled by King Louis XIV of France: one to the side of Czar Peter the Great of Russia, the other to the side of King ... See full summary »
Watch the exploits of three young romantics as they dance around St. Petersburg, Russia, getting themselves involved in everything from a soccer riot to a rainstorm to a fight between best ... See full summary »
Young prince Aleksandr has to hold out against two enemies - the Horde in the east and the Teutonic order and Sweden in the west. He discovers that some boyars are plotting against him and ... See full summary »
In 16th-century Russia in the grip of chaos, Ivan the Terrible strongly believes he is vested with a holy mission. Believing he can understand and interpret the signs, he sees the Last ... See full summary »
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
"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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