OrthodoxChristianity.net

General Forums => Reviews => Topic started by: Punch on July 26, 2007, 06:12:00 PM

Title: The Island (Ostrov)
Post by: Punch on July 26, 2007, 06:12:00 PM
Quite possibly the best movie that I have ever seen.  I was driven to tears on many occasions.  Excellent!
Title: Re: The Island (Ostrov)
Post by: FrChris on July 30, 2007, 12:48:57 PM
Truly, it is an excellent movie...

In the Atlanta Metropolis summer camp, the movie was shown to all campers and counselors with a discussion session following at the end of the week!
Title: Re: The Island (Ostrov)
Post by: Elisha on July 30, 2007, 01:05:18 PM
I'll have to check (again) to see if I can add it to my Netflix queue yet.
Title: Re: The Island (Ostrov)
Post by: ilyazhito on December 01, 2011, 10:47:23 PM
Yes, I liked Ostrov very much. Although Fr. Job does not like Anatoliy, Anatoly does atone for his sins and is clairvoyant, and God even performed miracles through his prayers. It would be great to have such a person in real life, in the 21st century.
Title: Re: The Island (Ostrov)
Post by: Gebre Menfes Kidus on December 01, 2011, 11:21:34 PM
I loved the movie as well. Although some people on this forum have spoken very negatively about it. Not sure why. I wonderful movie about a "fool for Christ."


Selam
Title: Re: The Island (Ostrov)
Post by: biro on December 02, 2011, 01:06:21 AM
I liked it a lot.
Title: Re: The Island (Ostrov)
Post by: Agia Marina on December 03, 2011, 12:15:35 AM
My priest loaned it to me, and I returned it, but not before my husband and I had watched it twice.  Wonderful film.  I'm ready to watch it, again.
Title: Re: The Island (Ostrov)
Post by: Αριστοκλής on December 03, 2011, 03:42:00 PM
We liked it so much we bought a second copy and gifted it to our local OCF chapter.
Title: Re: The Island (Ostrov)
Post by: That person on December 03, 2011, 04:28:02 PM
I loved the movie as well. Although some people on this forum have spoken very negatively about it. Not sure why. I wonderful movie about a "fool for Christ."


Selam
I think some of them might have been thinking about the Michael Bay movie. Of course, it might be a legitimately poor film. I wouldn't know, having yet to see it.
Title: Re: The Island (Ostrov)
Post by: Riddikulus on December 03, 2011, 06:40:18 PM
I loved the movie as well. Although some people on this forum have spoken very negatively about it. Not sure why. I wonderful movie about a "fool for Christ."


Selam

Necktarios started a thread on this. IIRC, the reviews were all positive.

To the OP;

Ozgeorge lent us his copy of this film. Hubby and I loved it. As I never really trust sub-titles to give full meaning, I just wished that I understood Russian. Not that that is going to be remedied any time soon, except by way of the gift of tongues!  ;D
Title: Re: The Island (Ostrov)
Post by: paedenfield on November 21, 2013, 08:34:38 AM
I watched Ostrov (The Island) for the third time last night ... I just love it.  This is an excellent example of a movie that some people just don't get, judging from reviews I have read.  Some reviewers complained about it being "simplistic."  While the plot is indeed simple, spiritually and emotionally it is very rich ... every time I watch it, I notice something new to appreciate or to think about.

Even though this is an old thread, I wanted to post something very interesting that I learned while reading about the movie.  The actor who played Fr. Anatoly is Pyotr Mamonov, and besides his acting roles he is a rock musician:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyotr_Mamonov

I wasn't expecting that!  Another interesting fact in the Wikipedia article is that Mamonov did not convert to the Orthodox faith until the 1990s.  He really did a wonderful job in that role, I thought -- one of those once-in-a-lifetime performances.

Title: Re: The Island (Ostrov)
Post by: username! on November 21, 2013, 09:45:38 AM
I like it even if the subtitles don't fully capture the Russian.
Title: Re: The Island (Ostrov)
Post by: orthonorm on November 21, 2013, 11:24:29 AM
one of those once-in-a-lifetime performances.

We can only hope.
Title: Re: The Island (Ostrov)
Post by: Asteriktos on November 21, 2013, 03:05:22 PM
one of those once-in-a-lifetime performances.

We can only hope.

I liked the movie, but when I saw your name as the last poster on this thread I decided to come in and see what critical remark you would make. I am quite pleased with what you came up with.
Title: Re: The Island (Ostrov)
Post by: Mor Ephrem on November 21, 2013, 03:39:47 PM
I watched it last year after hearing one too many people tell me how great and how moving and how awesome and how powerful it was.  I wanted to be that enthusiastic about it, but all I can say is it was OK.  I don't regret having watched it, but I'm not sure I would watch it again or recommend it to others as a "must see".   
Title: Re: The Island (Ostrov)
Post by: LizaSymonenko on November 21, 2013, 03:43:34 PM

I agree.

It was okay, but, I'm not sure it deserves all these accolades. 
Title: Re: The Island (Ostrov)
Post by: mike on November 21, 2013, 03:47:16 PM
I watched it last year after hearing one too many people tell me how great and how moving and how awesome and how powerful it was.  I wanted to be that enthusiastic about it, but all I can say is it was OK.  I don't regret having watched it, but I'm not sure I would watch it again or recommend it to others as a "must see".   

This.

But it was better than I had expected.
Title: Re: The Island (Ostrov)
Post by: Darren on December 27, 2013, 05:55:54 AM
This is an excelent film. Our priest arranged for us to watch it at his house at the beginning of Lent as part of our reflection for repentance - can't recommend it enough.
Title: Re: The Island (Ostrov)
Post by: Darren on December 27, 2013, 05:58:11 AM
Yes, I liked Ostrov very much. Although Fr. Job does not like Anatoliy, Anatoly does atone for his sins and is clairvoyant, and God even performed miracles through his prayers. It would be great to have such a person in real life, in the 21st century.

You might want to visit Mount Athos.
Title: Re: The Island (Ostrov)
Post by: Punch on December 27, 2013, 12:12:32 PM
I had a chance to show the film to my parents.  My father is a retired Lutheran pastor, and my mother has been Lutheran all of her life.  She is the one who caused my father's conversion from the Baptist sect.  When the movie ended, both were silent for a long while, and then said they liked it.  My father said that it really made him think.  My parents have had a hard time with my conversion to the Orthodox Church nearly 20 years ago.  I have often been silent or had to make excuses for what they saw in American Orthodoxy.  I told then that they finally put into film the Orthodox Church as I understood it when I converted.  They both acknowledged that they now started to see why I did.  Hopefully it has a deeper affect on them.  After all, they are the reason that I am a Christian at all, and the reason that I started asking the same question as my favorite Biblical person - "What is Truth?"  The answer to that question is what led me to the Orthodox Church.
Title: Re: The Island (Ostrov)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on December 27, 2013, 02:36:31 PM
It is an excellent film.  The most memorable scene for me was that involving the young woman who brings her lame son to Fr. Anatoly to be healed.  Fr. Anatoly heals the boy through his prayers and then instructs the woman to spend the night at the monastery so that her son can attend the Liturgy and receive Holy Communion the next morning.  If he does, Fr. Anatoly says, he'll never so much as limp again.  The woman, however, defers, saying she has to get back to civilization and her job.  Isn't that like all of us?  We beg and pray and entreat God when our backs are against the wall, but as soon as He answers our prayers and heals us, we don't have time for Him anymore.  We have to get back to our "lives" without Him and our sin.  There are many such powerful messages in this film.

It's also nice to see a film that is a product of an Orthodox culture, which is a rare treat in the West.
Title: Re: The Island (Ostrov)
Post by: mike on December 27, 2013, 02:56:00 PM
It's also nice to see a film that is a product of an Orthodox culture,

Of what?
Title: Re: The Island (Ostrov)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on December 27, 2013, 03:20:15 PM
It's also nice to see a film that is a product of an Orthodox culture,

Of what?

In the USA, Orthodoxy is not a part of the dominant culture.  Much of the artistic output of that culture - whether that means literature, music, film, or whatever else - even the ostensibly secular stuff - is ultimately rooted in an Anglo-Protestant ethos which has rubbed me the wrong way since I was so young that I was unable even to consciously articulate the sentiment.  To a lesser extent - thanks to the presence of certain prominent immigrant groups - one can find works of art or pieces of entertainment rooted in Catholicism or Judaism.  To read, view, or listen to a piece created for the purpose of entertainment that is rooted in an Orthodox ethos is refreshing.  That is why Dostoevsky blew my mind when I first read him.  The first of his works I read was The Brothers Karamazov.  Here was a piece that was not a straight-up theological tract, but that was imbued with and permeated by Orthodox theology.  It, like The Island, was the product of an Orthodox culture, in this case that of Russia.  I had the same feeling the first time I read H.I.M. Emperor Haile Selassie's autobiography.
Title: Re: The Island (Ostrov)
Post by: Fire-Bird2014 on December 28, 2013, 03:42:07 AM
Antonious Nicholas, thank you for your post. Have you read The Idiot by Dostoevsky? There is also a great mini-series (titles IDIOT) Work on this character (prince Myshkin, the idiot) transformed the actor in real life.

I watched this movie ISLAND twice. Obviously it is not intended for popcorn oriented audience or people looking for pure entertainment. I got that before I became a Christian and this film was... well, different, nostalgic and visually appealing. Now I watched it as an Orthodox Christian and it was a new movie entirely!

It hits you with an incredible combination of stillness and intensity. This is how life in a monastery might feel to its inhabitants: so peaceful and still outside, and so loaded with personal spiritual battle. The "podvig" he took upon himself (being a Fool for Christ, asceticism) speaks of his true love for God (with all the heart, and might and soul).

It also explained to me the second commandment: love thy neighbor. The ugliest-looking man committed the most atrocious act (betraying, and then shooting his captain out of cowardliness) but... he repented! And suddenly you have hard time letting him go. Father Anatoly, don't go yet, stay and pray for us, sinners.

The first-time actor Mamonov is superb. It must be hard to genuinely pray, and yet, one believes his every word and move. By the end of the movie, we see him taller and stronger, with wider chest... now we see his enlightened spirit and trust him. No question that he can cast demons, heal people and see into hearts of brother monks.

Symbolism? First thought: Coals and fire as a metaphor of sins burning our souls... Second thought: perhaps our life here is hell, we are living it... and the coffin? is not the end, it is the EXIT. It is also a symbol for material things in life and how funny it is to worry about the quality of one's coffin :)  Still people kill for "finer things in life", they think they need а polished coffin.

This movie is a soul-detector. If it does not move you, it is quite alarming.
Title: Re: The Island (Ostrov)
Post by: mike on December 28, 2013, 12:23:41 PM
In the USA, Orthodoxy is not a part of the dominant culture.  Much of the artistic output of that culture - whether that means literature, music, film, or whatever else - even the ostensibly secular stuff - is ultimately rooted in an Anglo-Protestant ethos which has rubbed me the wrong way since I was so young that I was unable even to consciously articulate the sentiment.  To a lesser extent - thanks to the presence of certain prominent immigrant groups - one can find works of art or pieces of entertainment rooted in Catholicism or Judaism.  To read, view, or listen to a piece created for the purpose of entertainment that is rooted in an Orthodox ethos is refreshing.  That is why Dostoevsky blew my mind when I first read him.  The first of his works I read was The Brothers Karamazov.  Here was a piece that was not a straight-up theological tract, but that was imbued with and permeated by Orthodox theology.  It, like The Island, was the product of an Orthodox culture, in this case that of Russia.  I had the same feeling the first time I read H.I.M. Emperor Haile Selassie's autobiography.

You may have some point. It's exotic. Just as some European people are fascinated with Japanese comics, Buddhism, other are fascinated with Russian spirituality.

I remember last time I was in a theater, there was "Crime and Punishment" played. I didn't like a book, generally not a big fan of Dostoyevsky to begin with. And the performance was not superb either, OK but nothing extraordinary. Nevertheless, whole audience was like "wow... Eastern spirituality... Russian soul... mystery... wow... mysticism... wow". Any icon exhibition or something like that, and comments are the same. It's exotic, people are not used to it that's it's so fascinating. They'd see this "Eastern mysticism" for 20 years at least once a week and they would get used to it.
Title: Re: The Island (Ostrov)
Post by: Antonious Nikolas on December 28, 2013, 01:43:45 PM
Antonious Nicholas, thank you for your post. Have you read The Idiot by Dostoevsky? There is also a great mini-series (titles IDIOT) Work on this character (prince Myshkin, the idiot) transformed the actor in real life.

Thank you, Fire-Bird, for your insightful commentary.  Yes, I have read The idiot.  I love the book (and The Possessed), though Brothers K will always be my favorite.  I can certainly see how inhabiting the character of Prince Myshkin would be a transformative experience for anyone.

You may have some point. It's exotic. Just as some European people are fascinated with Japanese comics, Buddhism, other are fascinated with Russian spirituality...

No.  Maybe for the Europeans you're describing, but not for me.  I don't find The Island or the writings of men like Dostoevsky or Haile Selassie exotic at all.  In fact, quite the opposite.  For me, having grown up in "ethnic" Orthodox enclaves and an Orthodox household, they are familiar and comfortable, like talking with my father.  It's not an act of cultural voyeurism for me to read their stuff like watching a Kurosawa film or reading Cotton Mather might be because they are what I am.  I can connect with Orthodox works more intimately than I can with anything else - and they resonate more deeply within me - precisely because they are anything but exotic to my soul.
Title: Re: The Island (Ostrov)
Post by: Punch on December 28, 2013, 07:33:34 PM
In the USA, Orthodoxy is not a part of the dominant culture.  Much of the artistic output of that culture - whether that means literature, music, film, or whatever else - even the ostensibly secular stuff - is ultimately rooted in an Anglo-Protestant ethos which has rubbed me the wrong way since I was so young that I was unable even to consciously articulate the sentiment.  To a lesser extent - thanks to the presence of certain prominent immigrant groups - one can find works of art or pieces of entertainment rooted in Catholicism or Judaism.  To read, view, or listen to a piece created for the purpose of entertainment that is rooted in an Orthodox ethos is refreshing.  That is why Dostoevsky blew my mind when I first read him.  The first of his works I read was The Brothers Karamazov.  Here was a piece that was not a straight-up theological tract, but that was imbued with and permeated by Orthodox theology.  It, like The Island, was the product of an Orthodox culture, in this case that of Russia.  I had the same feeling the first time I read H.I.M. Emperor Haile Selassie's autobiography.

You may have some point. It's exotic. Just as some European people are fascinated with Japanese comics, Buddhism, other are fascinated with Russian spirituality.

I remember last time I was in a theater, there was "Crime and Punishment" played. I didn't like a book, generally not a big fan of Dostoyevsky to begin with. And the performance was not superb either, OK but nothing extraordinary. Nevertheless, whole audience was like "wow... Eastern spirituality... Russian soul... mystery... wow... mysticism... wow". Any icon exhibition or something like that, and comments are the same. It's exotic, people are not used to it that's it's so fascinating. They'd see this "Eastern mysticism" for 20 years at least once a week and they would get used to it.

I disagree.  I have seen it more than once a week for almost exactly 20 years, and every Liturgy still affects me, as does every viewing of The Island, or films about Valaam or the other lavras.  Perhaps you that have lived in it all your life have grown cold to it.  Those of us who knew a life outside of Orthodoxy are perhaps more aware of what we now have because we at one time did not.
Title: Re: The Island (Ostrov)
Post by: Fire-Bird2014 on December 28, 2013, 10:49:06 PM
This is so heart-warming to read your comments. Dostoevsky novels as well as the movie Island have this brutal honesty about our fallen nature that we can all relate to. This is why they transcend national and cultural barriers and speak straight to one's heart; it becomes everyone's treasure, like German classical music, for instance.
Title: Re: The Island (Ostrov)
Post by: mabsoota on December 29, 2013, 06:01:17 AM
i thought it was really interesting, and i felt that i understood russian people better after watching it.
i certainly understood monks in greek and romanian monasteries better (we spoke to a few on various visits), eg. why they go up to people and start offering advice (they assume visitors have come for that, not to take photos of the pretty buildings)

i agree that it puts across some elements of culture that may be exotic for people from very different cultures,
and i thought it was very different to west european culture.
having been in a mixed east / west european marriage for many years now, i sometimes look at west european culture in a similar way. it is starting to become strange and exotic for me!
Title: Re: The Island (Ostrov)
Post by: IoanC on December 30, 2013, 08:35:45 AM
Definitely an excellent and life changing orthodox movie. Just not really my style because of its melodramatic and ancient themes. But I am not criticizing it, just expressing my own vision.
Title: Re: The Island (Ostrov)
Post by: Fire-Bird2014 on December 30, 2013, 05:28:20 PM
Perhaps, Northern landscapes are exotic, but being "Foll for Christ" requires another definition :) Self-sacrificial?