024 - Andrei Rublev (1969)

Andrei Rublev is a Russian film split into eight chapters spanning three hours - in the version I saw. Despite what the name suggests, although the film follows the life of Andrei Rublev, it is rarely specifically about him.

Rather, the film is about Russia during the 15th Century and the impact of religion on the country. As with elsewhere in Europe, religion was almost at its pinnacle during this era, influencing not only people's physical lives but their thoughts and dreams as well.

Theatrical Poster
As well as being an icon artist, Andrei Rublev is also a priest, making him one of the most revered and feared men of the period. Despite this, he is afraid to cause violence, and refuses to paint a cathedral as ordered as he is afraid that evil will come from it. His benevolence is further apparent following the sacking of Vladimir when it is revealed he killed a man to save a woman.

On the subject of Vladimir, this chapter, as with much of the film is stunning in its cinematography. The burning village is wonderfully offset against the mighty cathedral standing behind.

Unfortunately, much of the artwork in the film replaces the telling of the story. It starts to feel broken as the camera lingers on a scene, forcing the viewer to appreciate the landscape rather than care about the next chapter in the story.

Sorry Russian cinema, while this was certainly better than Alexander Nevsky, it is not up to the standard of Western films just yet...