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Andrei Tarkovsky’s tour de force about Russia’s famous medieval painter won the FIPRESCI Prize at Cannes and was voted the best arthouse film of all time by The Guardian in 2010.
Director: Andrei Tarkovsky
Tarkovsky’s second feature takes us to 15th century Russia where Rublev, a monk and gifted artist, is looking for work. Revered as Russia’s most famous medieval painter, the film focuses on his struggle with society and with his faith, as he witnesses pagan merrymaking, brutal warmongering raids and the volatile whims of a Grand Duke. Filmed almost entirely in black-and-white, the film’s ending, coming after an epic and turbulent journey through history, delivers a deeply moving cloudburst of colour.
Set in medieval Russia but made during the 1960s in the Soviet Union, the film fell foul of the authorities and nationalists who accused it of being ‘anti-historical’, and they demanded a series of cuts and suppressed its release for several years. The version you see here is Tarkovsky’s. Ranked joint 67th in the 2022 Sight and Sound Great Films of All Time poll.
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