The Island aka Ostrov [DVD] 
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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!
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!
The Island feels like a prayer in film form - and that is meant as a compliment.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A strange, dark very Russian film. You will probably either love it or hate it. It is very atmospheric, slow moving and beautifully filmed. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Norman Vaughton
This is an amazing movie and i have watched the island several times and i have placed several orders for my christian friends who have all enjoyed the island. Read morePublished 18 months ago by toon army
A wonderfully devotional film showing that persistence in prayer really does work in the moat amazing way.Published 20 months ago by Shirley Huish
Awe inspiring, insightful movie about the Way of Christianity lived out by Orthodox monks in Finland/Northern Russia. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Mrs C B