The complete version (39 minutes longer than the print originally released) 'explains' no more than the cut version, but at least Tarkovsky's mysteries and enigmas are now intact. Rublev was a minor icon-painter of the early 1400s. Tarkovsky re-imagines him as a Christ-like cypher for the sufferings of a divided Russia under the Tartar invaders: a troubled visionary reduced to years of silence by the horrors that he witnesses, who finally rediscovers the will to speak - and to paint. The film offers eight imaginary episodes from Rublev's life: the most brilliant coup is the story of a beardless boy saving his own life by pretending that he knows how to cast a giant bell - and finding that he can do it. This boy's blind faith rekindles Rublev's confidence in himself and his people, leading the film into its blazing climax: a montage of details from Rublev's surviving icons.