A film by Pavel Lungin
2006/ Russia/ 112 minutes
5.45 pm / Perks Mini Theater
Russian Orthodox monk Anatoly lives on a remote island in the frigid White Sea, where he is tormented by guilt from a cowardly “sin” committed years ago under Nazi coercion. Anatoly shovels coal briquettes and pushes wheelbarrows across rickety planks to repent for his iniquities. He considers himself as “stained” by sin, and accordingly neglects his body till it is as unkempt as his soul.
Anatoly doesn’t bathe (despite his soot-coated accommodations), much to the dismay of his fellow monks. The sailor-turned-saint hopes said reason will cleanse him of sin when his time to leave the world does come. Other monks—including superior Father Filaret—find Anatoly an obnoxious prankster who speaks in riddles and “cultivates superstition” among laypeople.
The Island is a study of forgiveness (of oneself and others) whose title—poet John Donne might agree—references one man’s inner isolation as well as his geographic remoteness. And while arctic environs are harsh, director Pavel Lounguine collages some beautiful imagery (all symbolic) here—from craggy rocks and lichen-covered hills to raging waters and charred timbers. (From Internet)
Pavel Semyonovich Lungin s a Russian film director. Lungin worked primarily as a scriptwriter until given the opportunity to direct Taxi Blues at age 40. Lungin was awarded the Best Director Prize at 1990 Cannes Film Festival for the film Taxi Blues starring Pyotr Mamonov. That same year he took up residence in France, while making films in and about Russia with French producers. Two years later, his next film Luna Park would also compete at the 1992 Cannes Film Festival. In 1993 he was a member of the jury at the 18th Moscow International Film Festival.
Lungin’s last film Ostrov (The Island, 2006) is a penetrating drama of sublimation of the soul. According to the official site of Lungin Studio, in the mid October the film-director finished another feature film under the title Cruelty. In 2007 Lungin is going to release Vetka Sireni (Lilacs), a life story of Sergei Rachmaninoff.