Language: Russian / Italian / Tatar
Country: Soviet Union
Andreiv Rublev charts the life of the great icon painter through a turbulent period of 15th Century Russian history, a period marked by endless fighting between rival Princes and by Tatar invasions.
“Andrei Rublev is the most Russian of films, emblematic of what everyone finds so fascinating and so maddening in the way Russians do things”
"Prospective film makers still study Andrei Rublev today to see a master at work. While Tarkovsky’s use of lighting, fog and shadows are reminiscent of the Japanese master Akira Kurosawa, Tarkovsky adds his own genius in arranging dozens of actors and extras’ individual parts into a single, extended shot. The single shot scene involves the Tartars showing up to rape and loot another Russian village. Here Tarkovsky’s work did not escape controversy, as several animals were killed in the course of the filming, including a horse that was shot by the crew and then impaled on screen by a Tartar warrior.
In spite of Tarkovsky’s depiction of the Russian Orthodox Church and the boyars as cruel, we can see why Soviet censors cut twenty minutes from Andrei Rublev and almost banned the picture. The film is profoundly spiritual, anti-materialistic, and its heroes are all suspicious of worldly authority. After Tarkovsky completed filming in 1966, Soviet censors vacillated for five years on whether to permit the film to be shown at all. Finally, in 1971, they did allow it to be shown in the USSR. But the world did not get to see the film Tarkovsky envisioned, all 205 minutes of it, until 2004."