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The Island

  • Film
  • 3 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars
Not quite a monastery, more a handful of crumbling buildings and a bell tower, this retreat on an island in the Baltic is home to Father Anatoly (Pyotr Mamonov), a seemingly unofficial Orthodox monk said to possess mysterious healing powers. He’s certainly a man of contradictions – riddling prankster one minute, fervent worshipper the next – whose devotion is partly explained by the opening World War II flashback showing Nazi invaders forcing him into killing a comrade. What follows is a contemplative fable, not without its wry wit, which effectively ponders the workings of faith, specifically the connection between gnawing guilt and a desire to do good – the austerely beautiful surroundings (think ECM album covers) providing a strikingly appropriate context. Haunting cinematography and Mamonov’s persuasive central performance almost seal the deal, yet there’s something just too pat about the storytelling which prevents total surrender.
Written by Trevor Johnston

Release Details

  • Release date:Friday 5 February 2010
  • Duration:112 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Pavel Lounguine
  • Screenwriter:Dmitry Sobolev
  • Cast:
    • Piotr Mamonov
    • Dmitry Dyuzhev
    • Victor Sukhorukov
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