Viper Squad Ten

[ Thursday, September 02, 2004 ]

The Return
Starbuck [08:59] Comments: 0 []
I woke up this morning feeling changed, different. Although I can't remember any dreams from last night as such, I can feel their echoes. I feel strengthened, fortified by my night-time processing.

I went to see Andrei Zvyagintsev's The Return (Vozvrashcheniye in its native Russian) at my local Arts Centre cinema last night. Its not unusual that I get carried away by a film - I must've completed a Degree in Enthusiasm in my former life - but this really was a masterpiece.

A simple story - two young boys regain their father after 12 years absence, father takes them on a trip across road and placid lake, ending on a deserted island.

But the raw, true-to-life emotions on display, painted on a stunningly-photographed canvas of Russian wildnerness, made this cinematic work of art really get inside of my head as well as my heart. Although my heart bled with the pain of the trauma that was depicted, my head was alive with the awesome beauty of what was on the screen - like Touching The Void, it was a film which would lose much of its worth on the small screen, with its sweeping endless landscapes and surrounding soundscapes. It's like there was a free holiday included with every ticket - I actually now feel that I have visited Russia, Lake Lagoda still being freshly on my synapses. And it was fascinating to see a whole new Russia, one far removed from the stereotypes of Siberia-and-brown-concrete that I've built up over the years.

But what the film did most was reinforce what I already believed - even in tragedy there can be beauty. Maybe its just the way that I've learned to deal with life. But when you look back at your darker hours months or years down the line, what you most recall is the beauty of the things around you. As the ragged traumatic emotions begin to fade, the magnificence of what was in your periphary crystallises out.

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