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56 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Austerity, Faith and Redemption.
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...
Published on 30 July 2010 by Bob Salter

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6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great story, simplified acting
The gorgeous setting and great story is somewhat played down by the overly sentimentalized acting (though less in the part of the main character) and the unusually high pace for this type of a picture. Mind you, that does not undermine the setting and story, but the film is probably better appreciated by those who are more ardent admirers of "the Russian spirit".
Published on 15 Aug 2010 by Margus Lattik


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5.0 out of 5 stars Very Russian, 11 Jan 2013
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This review is from: The Island [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
We were lent this film by a friend it made such an impression that we got our own copy the next day. This is a powerful film that expresses something of the true Russian soul and the image of the Holy Fool or the need to make amends for sin
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5.0 out of 5 stars Spiritual Insight, 16 July 2012
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This review is from: The Island [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
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 ways of Orthodox Christianity. Throughout the film it highlights the inherent flaws we all have within us. This is shown in the way Fr. Anatoly interacts with his brothers at the monastery and the steady flow of people coming to see the Holy Man for answers to their problems. Each and every problem he solves is done a way that catches the viewer completely by surprise. Again I stress that this is not only entertaining, but very helpful in understanding spiritual matters. Woven in to the storyline is Fr Anatoly's personal struggle with an event that happened in his early years.

Entertaining and educational. I would highly recommend watching The Island.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable film, 23 Aug 2010
By 
Dr. R. T. Russell "Amon Ra" (Belfast, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Island [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
One of my favourite films of recent years. The lead actor is so convincing, that it times it appears he's living the film rather than playing a role in it. The dialogue is wonderful, full of religious imagery and symbolism; good food for the soul!

Some of the scenes are very touching, e.g when Father Anatoly (lead) heals the crippled boy, or when he successfully convinces a young woman to have her child instead of an abortion. Don't hesitate to buy it, you'll get something important from it, and it will linger in your memory long after you have watched it. A refreshing change from the Hollywood garbage which dominates modern cinema. If only it could be like this all the time!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gloomy but fascinating, 12 Sep 2011
This review is from: The Island [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
I had not heard of this film before it was offered to me by Amazon, but knowing the tradition of Russian film-making (and that includes the Soviet era), I was looking forward to a chance to settle down to watch it.
I watched it on my own and was really absorbed into the film's gloomy atmosphere, enhanced by the black-and-white photography, without any disturbances. It was a great experience. When my wife wanted to watch it a week later, I set it all up for her and was going to do something else while she was watching it. But two hours later I found that I had been glued to the same spot, without moving, fascinated as if I had never seen the film before. - I can tell you, that is the first time anything like that has happened to me. Five stars for great entertainment!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A real gem of a film, 16 July 2014
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W. Morrison - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Island [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
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.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Earthy, Real, 9 Mar 2012
By 
Dave Kinsella "Jesus First" (Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Island [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
This film was powerful. I know that word is a bit overused these days but it describes my feelings on it. I gave it to a Russian speaking Ukrainian friend of mine and he has watched it twice already. His wife has watched it three times. He said it was so realistic. He also said that there are many of these types of monks in Russia. Men who really do perform miracles and are close to God. He says that anyone who seeks God in this way can perform these miracles as a natural outcome of their proximity to the Holy One.

Anyway, I recommend this film wholeheartedly. And don't be put off by the fact that it is only subtitled, though my friend said he was sure we English speakers are missing out on some of the more subtle aspects of the script. However this didn't hamper my viewing experience. It seemed, to me at least, to give a real insight into modern Russian religious thought and practice. The contrast between the extreme religious fervour of the central character with that of the lukewarmness of the average Church goer who came to seek his advice and miracle working power, and the stale pleasure seeking attitudes of the other monks in the monastery.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dear Amazon...., 9 May 2012
By 
Trionon (Cornwall, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Island [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
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
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6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great story, simplified acting, 15 Aug 2010
By 
Margus Lattik (Estonia, EU) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Island [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
The gorgeous setting and great story is somewhat played down by the overly sentimentalized acting (though less in the part of the main character) and the unusually high pace for this type of a picture. Mind you, that does not undermine the setting and story, but the film is probably better appreciated by those who are more ardent admirers of "the Russian spirit".
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5 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars why always the idiotic scripts in russian films?, 9 Nov 2011
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This review is from: The Island [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
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 seen.i dont know if the writers are all inspired by the same source of this,but having been to russia several times and not seen this stupid clowning behaviour in the people there,i can't for the life of me understand why writers feel the need to try to be funny in a loud stupid and unfunny way and ruin what could have been a quiet reflective beautiful and more sincere depiction of a man's life who made a mistake and is supposedly attempting to redeem himself.His behaviour just irritates.do they really expect us to believe this is how monks behave? its as though the script was there with all the silly jokes and the writer thought "its ok but how can i make this different from the usual stuff. i know we will set it in a monastery,though i won't bother to modify my characters' lines to fit into this situation." sorry,for me it is idiotic.
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1 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars "An antique idea", 17 July 2011
By 
Nora Gluckmann "Norita" (Aylesbury,England, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Island [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
Even being also "an ardent admirer of the Russian spirit" I did not liked this film.

Being enthusiastical about the newest trends in Russian Cinema -even if Andrey Tarkovsky,Alexander Sokurov or S.Paradjanov did not work during the 2.000 as Pavel Longuine or Andrey Khrzhanovsky did- I consider "The Island" an extremely old film from a really antique idea, being sin and redemption concepts extremely, impossibly far away from today's actual human problems.

"Guilt and remorse over terrible events from the past" are nowadays not even resolved by Freud's or Marx legacys. Faith and salvation belong to Humanity's past.
But in this Island,photograph is beautifuly inspired in Bergman, it is also well acted and it could be a film acclaimed and enjoyed by a remarkable amount of people
but obviously I am not the person to reccomended it !
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The Island [DVD] [2006]
The Island [DVD] [2006] by Pavel Lungin (DVD - 2010)
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