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The Return

(Vozvraschenie)
Russia 2003. Dir: Andrey Zvyagintsev. 106 min. DCP

“Beautifully structured and emotionally wrenching ... The Return immediately establishes Zvyagintsev as a master.”
JONATHAN ROSENBAUM, CHICAGO READER

Winner of both the Golden Lion and Best First Film prize at Venice, the triumphant debut feature of Andrey Zvyagintsev “renews the grand tradition of Russian cinematic mysticism epitomized by Andrei Tarkovsky” (David Kehr, New York Times). Andrey and Vanya are two young boys being raised by their mother in a derelict backwater; their father disappeared a dozen years before. One day, the brothers return home to discover that their father, a stern, remote, uncommunicative man, has unexpectedly returned. He offers not a word of explanation for his absence, and makes plans to takes his bewildered sons on a fishing trip. The ensuing journey, a masculine rite-of-passage across vast, rugged, mystical landscapes, becomes a Biblical battle of wills. The Return impresses as a psychologically acute, emotionally compelling family drama — and haunts as a mythic, metaphysical thriller. Tragically, young Vladimir Garin, who plays Andrey, drowned in a swimming accident shortly after the film was completed.


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REVIEWS

"It looks and feels like a classic .... Zvyagintsev has burst on to the world cinema scene as a vivid new talent."

The Guardian | full review