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The Island [DVD] [2006]

28 customer reviews

Price: £6.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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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: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003DQ135Y
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,007 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

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.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Bob Salter TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 30 July 2010
Format: DVD
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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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By WOOD on 1 May 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tim Kidner TOP 500 REVIEWER on 25 April 2012
Format: DVD
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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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Glen1975 on 21 Sept. 2010
Format: DVD
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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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Paul White on 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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