In a Russian coastal town, Dmitri is forced to fight the corrupt mayor when he is told that his house will be demolished. He recruits a lawyer friend to help, but the man's arrival brings further misfortune for Dmitri and his family.
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.
Two teenage Russian boys have their father return home suddenly after being absent for 12 years. The father takes the boys on a holiday to a remote island on a lake in the north of Russia that turns into a test of manhood of almost mythic proportions. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Andrey Zvyagintsev says the four main characters of the film represent the four elements: "Earth is Mother, water is Father... the elder brother, Andrey, is air and Ivan is fire. But if you think it's all different, it is." See more »
On the island, Ivan bandages his hand after it gets injured. In the next shot, the bandage is on his other hand. See more »
[on-screen caption: Sunday]
[boy falls in the water, then floats up]
Jump as we agreed! Who climbs down the ladder is a cowardly wanker.
[swims to the shore]
Boy on Tower:
Go on, Vityok. You're next.
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During the end credits, there are still photos. See more »
I wandered a bit from commenting movies. But I had to return. This movie made me do it. I didn't know anything about it. I only saw one trailer, that did its job perfectly. Everyone said it was incredible. I went and saw it. I found it more than incredible, staggering at least. It start as a pure, simple story and never wanders from its main character or its story not the slightest bit. Its jaw-breaking stripped-to-the-bone structure is a true novelty. Its young actors reveal themselves worthy of a standing ovation. It's difficult to find words to talk about this movie when it conveys such emotion by so few means. It's a fantastic, cold and often unbearable voyage through a deserted horizon, and one of the best movies of the year.
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