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The Island [DVD] [2006]

Pyotr Mamonov , Viktor Sukhorukov , Pavel Lungin    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
Price: £8.81 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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The Island [DVD] [2006] + The Concert [DVD] + The Return [2003] [DVD] [2004]
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Product details

  • Actors: Pyotr Mamonov, Viktor Sukhorukov, Dmitry Dyuzhev
  • Directors: Pavel Lungin
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Russian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Artificial Eye
  • DVD Release Date: 21 Jun 2010
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003DQ135Y
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,235 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Set in a small Russian orthodox monastery in Northern Russia, the bizarre conduct of one of it's monks begins to confuse and intrigue his fellow inhabitants. Those who visit the island believe that the man has the power to heal, exorcise demons and foretell the future. But due to a horrendous act committed in his youth he feels unworthy. The film is a parable, combining the realities of Russian everyday life with the monastic ritual and routine.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
56 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Austerity, Faith and Redemption. 30 July 2010
I have long had a fascination with Russia, a country that has had more than its fair share of suffering. It is also a country that has produced fine novelists, composers and artists over the years, as if off a huge production line. But such artistry and talent could often lead to the Gulags during the communist era, where being part of the intelligentsia was looked upon with suspicion. But the arrival of perestroika has allowed men like Pavel Lounquine the freedom to make fine films like "The Island", which would have been inconceivable before this time when religion suffered repression. But now society is more open and people have been able to turn back to the church. Time can be a great healer, and past sins can be erased and even forgiven in the new Russia.

The film commences in the northern seas of Russia during World War Two, when two men are captured transporting coal by the Germans. One of the men desperate to survive shoots the other in order to survive. Following an explosion he is rescued by monks from a nearby monastery situated on a desolate island nearby. There he becomes a monk who is haunted by the memory of his act, and continually prays for the soul of the dead man and forgiveness for himself. He works in the boiler room of the monastery constantly hauling coal. His eccentric and erratic behaviour causes consternation amongst his brothers, but they recognise his gifts of healing and clairvoyancy. Thirty years after the war he is an ill man, but life has a final twist before he is due to meet his maker.

The lead actor Pyotr Mamonov was a rock musician in the USSR before converting to the Russian orthodox church in the 1990's. He now lives on an island much like the character he plays in the film.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
This film was a wonderful surprise, I did not expect it to be so profound. It started out very bleak, and it continued to be very 'bleak' but somehow a deeply human situation was emerging. The actor playing Father Anatoly gives a deep insight into Faith and Salvation. This film is an antidote to Hollywood, so if you like superficial action, materialism and violence don't buy this film, as you will not last more than five minutes.

It is one of the best films I have ever seen,it reminded me of my father who was a bit like Father Anatoly.
I can not recommend it highly enough, however, it may not be everyones cup of tea but once you get into it, it is well worth the effort.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
The island is a journey into redemption, a pilgrim's progress towards purifying the being and spirit. Father Anatoly carries a great deal of guilt which appears to be indelibly branded on to his conscience and soul. He seeks redemption in whatever ways he can - healing people, challenging the liturgy and challenging the father superior of the church - these are not without really very funny consequences. He continues to live in a world of maddening guilt. His attempts at redemption and forgiveness prove almost futile.

It is a beautifully photographed and atmospheric film, most of the time it is filmed in steely blue tones. There is an understated humour which provides hilarious comic relief. Wonderfully scripted, directed and acted.

A lovely, powerful and moving film!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No Man is an Island.... 25 April 2012
By Tim Kidner TOP 500 REVIEWER
Somehow, Father Anatoly, (born again Christian ex rock star Pyotr Mamanov) a rather unorthodox Orthodox monk who lives on the titular Russian Baltic island, is very much his own island.

Anti-social, dirty, and a prankster that both annoys and causes discomfort to his fellow monks, Anatoly is a troubled old man who is harbouring a soul-destroying act that he was forced to commit, over forty years previous.

Strangely, this unkempt and rather obnoxious figure seems to hold healing powers that his superiors do not understand or particularly approve of. A string of characters visit the almost impossible to reach monastery and they target Father Anatoly, who is dressed in rags and not in the Orthodox robes of the others.

This film reminded me so much of the excellent south Korean film 'Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter....Spring', which in some ways is unfortunate for The Island as I am comparing it against the former. That's why I'm awarding 4 stars, not five. Whilst hauntingly beautiful throughout, with its poetically arctic landscapes, it lacks the subtlety and ultimate tenderness that would really make it special. The comical moments are just a little clumsy and some of the miraculous undertakings are a little beyond credibility.

Spiritually, the ending is glorious and special, with the silent soundtrack before rousing to a joyous climax.

I rented this DVD from my local library, showing how diverse and useful their collections can be. Try them!
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A prayer in film form 21 Nov 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
As a sometime student and practioner of Orthodox spirituality I found this film to be a delight - it starts with the words of the Jesus Prayer "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Have Mercy on Me a Sinner" and tells the story of a monk in a remote monastary in Northern Russia. Is he a prophet, a healer, a saint or a madman? There is an interesting sub-plot of the monk's experiences in the Second World War and, impliedly, of the monastary's relationship with soviet Russia.

The Island feels like a prayer in film form - and that is meant as a compliment.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A real gem of a film
A very good film which we watched as a group and which stimulated much discussion. I needed to watch it twice to get the full benefit.
Published 3 months ago by W. Morrison
5.0 out of 5 stars This film is amazing
This is Russian cinema at it's finest. Subtle, thought-provoking, cold and desolate, yet fearlessly beautiful. This film will cleanse you. Watch it and let it influence you.
Published 9 months ago by Joseph Merriman
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic
This is quite simply a classic of Orthodox spirituality. It presents Orthodox themes through the story of a man who has committed a terrible sin. Read more
Published 15 months ago by cornutus
5.0 out of 5 stars Unusually good modern film...
I heard about this film before and was really impressed when watching. Sin and guilt that followed Father Anatoly almost his whole life , true repentance and forgiveness... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Mrs. Maryna Lytvyn
5.0 out of 5 stars Monks are real people!
One of my all-time favourite movies (though admittedly I am Orthodox!). It shows monks as neither impossibly saintly nor as corrupt and greedy but as normal people with failings... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Kenneth Garland
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Russian
We were lent this film by a friend it made such an impression that we got our own copy the next day. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Revd S. Waters
5.0 out of 5 stars Spiritual Insight
Right from the start this film has you hooked. It has mystery, humour, emotion, twists and turns. Apart from simply enjoying the film, you'll get some spiritual insight into the... Read more
Published on 16 July 2012 by Polycarp
5.0 out of 5 stars Dear Amazon....
Please can we have more films by this director, Pavel Lungin such as the The Conductor and Tsar, the latter also with Pyotr Mamonov. I can't get enough of this film
Published on 9 May 2012 by Trionon
5.0 out of 5 stars Earthy, Real
This film was powerful. I know that word is a bit overused these days but it describes my feelings on it. Read more
Published on 9 Mar 2012 by Dave Kinsella
1.0 out of 5 stars why always the idiotic scripts in russian films?
it does look wonderful but this film is ruined by all the stomping about by a lot of men reading from an idiotic script that seems rather typical of many russian films i have... Read more
Published on 9 Nov 2011 by Tando
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