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The Lighthouse [DVD] [2006]

Sofiko Chiaureli , Anna Kapaleva , Maria Saakyan    Suitable for 12 years and over   DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: £10.69 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Sofiko Chiaureli, Anna Kapaleva, Olga Jakovleva
  • Directors: Maria Saakyan
  • 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: 12
  • Studio: Second Run
  • DVD Release Date: 11 April 2011
  • Run Time: 78 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004GP0O0G
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 60,529 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Maria Saakyan's elegiac, semi-autobiographical slice-of-life drama THE LIGHTHOUSE unfolds in the very early '90s, against the backdrop of the Caucasus wars that plagued Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. As the scope of this mass-scaled conflict extends itself to one woman's small village, she is forced to drop everything, move to Moscow, and start over from scratch -- thus bidding farewell to her hometown and way of life, perhaps indefinitely.

Product Description

United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: Russian ( Dolby Digital Stereo ), English ( Subtitles ), ANAMORPHIC WIDESCREEN (1.78:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Anamorphic Widescreen, Booklet, Interactive Menu, Remastered, Scene Access, Short Film, SYNOPSIS: Maria Saakyan's elegiac, semi-autobiographical slice-of-life drama The Lighthouse unfolds against the backdrop of the Caucasus wars that plagued Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan in the early 1990s. As the scope of this mass-scaled conflict extends itself to one woman's small village, she is forced to drop everything, move to Moscow, and start over from scratch - thus bidding farewell to her hometown and way of life, perhaps indefinitely. After spending several years in Moscow, Lena decides to return home, to the small Caucasus village where she was born and where her relatives and friends still live. The war and misery of the region are a counterpoint to the memories and emotions that bind Lena to her roots. Will she stay or flee? ...The Lighthouse (2006) ( Mayak ) ( The Light house )

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
56 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, harrowing and moving 7 April 2011
Format:DVD
I first saw this Russian film in 2007 at the London Film Festival - and remembered it like a dream: images, sounds, landscapes appearing and disappearing in mists.
I kept telling friends about it, hoping it would surface again for a cinema release. Now the ever-reliable Second Run have liberated the film for home viewing - and it's as stunning as I remember it.
A woman returns to her homeland after having fled the area sometime before to escape a bloody war in the hope of finding the family and friends she left behind. Her journey through her devastated country becomes a journey of discovery... a poetic, sometimes harrowing and often beautiful odyssey that speaks about war, memory, family and displacement.
The Lighthouse quitely recalls the profound and philosophical cinema of Tarkovsky and Paradjanov - managing to be epic while remaining minutely intimate.
Wonderful.
(The DVD also contains director Maria Saakyan's beautiful short film Farewell).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love and War 11 April 2012
By Keris Nine TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
I wouldn't want to give the impression that the Lighthouse is an easy film to watch, by any means, but it's certainly a worthwhile one nonetheless. It doesn't have a plot, there aren't any characters you can really identify with who develop over the course of the film, and it can often be difficult to follow exactly what is going on, even over the course of a fairly short film where not a great deal happens. But the fact that it doesn't function in the manner of a typical movie drama works in its favour, the film seeking rather to create strong impressions and ideas within the viewer by other means, and consequently The Lighthouse is likely to have an even greater impact on anyone who sees it.

Even if it's not entirely clear where it is set exactly - it's filmed in Armenia, but it could be any remote mountain village in a war-zone in the Caucasus, in Georgia or Chechnya - nothing is clearly laid out in a linear fashion for you to follow and there's little in the way of explanatory dialogue, but you will be surprised just how much you can take in from the way that the film uses impressionistic imagery and stunning cinematography in a way that allows you to piece together at least the essential idea. At the core of the film, there is a young woman who has returned to her home in a remote Russian village, a village populated by mainly older people, the kind reluctant to leave their homes in spite of the signs of conflict that is evident all around them and the military presence in the region.

The sense of location and situation then are clearly presented, but what also comes through strongly is the sense of family and community bonds that exist between the people there, even if there are no conventional dramatic events to spell this out.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Eyes Have it. 6 Jan 2012
By Bob Salter TOP 100 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:DVD
I watched this film after downing a few of my favourite Benedictines on ice, which is is perhaps akin to those poets who used to swig back the absinthe for some hallucinogenic like help. This may have had the effect of seeing this film through very rose tinted spectacles. No matter, I would love it drunk or sober! The film starts with some stunning opening credits, using splotchy ink to great effect, which is manna from heaven to a bookworm like me. There is also a startling close up of the films star Anna Kapaleva, followed by some highly effective shots of birds in flight. Set in the early nineties against the backdrop of the Caucasus wars which involved Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan, the film follows Lena a young girl who returns from Moscow to her remote Armenian village high in the Caucasus mountains to try and persuade her grandparents to leave this now dangerous place. The grandparents are firmly entrenched in their village roots, and leaving proves to be no easy matter for them.

Through Lena's eyes we feel the war moving ever closer. On one occasion she even takes up arms briefly! We also get to see some lovely scenes of Armenian rustic life, and a sense of community that we seem to have lost in the west. All this is filmed in a remote mist shrouded Caucasus village, that is so high up it is often elavated above the clouds themselves. The exceptional cinematography fused with Finnish composer Kimmo Pohjonen's atmospheric score, is something that sticks long in the mind. It certainly looks as if it was filmed in a remote part of Armenia! The film is semi autobiographical, as director Mariya Saakyan hails from Yerevan in Armenia. This is a mightily impressive debut film, and I hope the talented Saakyan gets funding for other opportunities.
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