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August 4, 2017

Lok Virsa to screen Russian film ‘The Island’


August 4, 2017


Director: Pavel Lungin

Russia holds the credentials of one of the early founders of cinema along with France, United States, Germany and United Kingdom. Many film techniques and theories like montage were first seen in Russian film Battleship Potemkin. This film is now a must in film schools and film archives worldwide.

Lok Virsa Mandwa Film Club pays tribute to Russian Cinema with a distinguished film ‘The Island’ (2006) on Saturday (August 5), at 6 p.m. The film won several distinctions, including Golden Eagle Award as Best Russian Film from 2006.

Mandawa selected ‘The Island’ for special screening on account of its extraordinary subject, exceptionally good reviews and numerous award. The plot takes us back to 1942. World War II is at its peak. Teenage Russian sailor Anatoly is forced by Germany captors to kill his colleague. With fear, Anatoly pulls the trigger. His soul would find no peace. With all male characters as monks, this was scripted by a young film student at Moscow's VGIK Film School. The Island was lensed around shores of White Sea in Northern Russia.

We are on a misty island. Flash forwards take us into seventies. Years turn into decades but the officer is constantly haunted with the guilt and crime he committed. With the passage of time, he attains incredible healing power and predictions about future. He can now cure and guide but he cannot come out of the guilt. He prays for mercy and forgiveness. His life remains shallow, empty and lonely.

The film is about sin, awareness and forgiveness. It is about living with the painful past. The leading actor who plays this dramatic role, was a rock musician in real life, and now lives in an isolated village. The film with bleak and stunning visuals, comes with foreseeable twist carrying faith, guilt, redemption, self-pity and spiritual truth. One is reminded here of Dostoevsky and Tolstoy. Living in the primitive monastery, visitors from all over the country with their children visit this lost man for his healing power but he cannot heal himself from the guilty painful past.

The photography in B/W and colour is one of the outstanding features of ‘The Island.’

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