Review By: Boo Allen
Kino International re-issues and gives a Blu-ray debut to this haunting enigma from internationally renowned Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky. Like all of his films, this one, his last before dying of cancer in 1986, challenges viewers, dealing in metaphysical questions that require diffuse conversations often resulting in long, lingering shots (his opening shot here runs nine minutes). Using Ingmar Bergman’s primary cinematographer (Sven Nykvist) and one of his leading men (Erland Josephson), Tarkovsky even filmed his story on a Bergmanesque remote island. There, an extended family learns about the outbreak of World War III, leaving them in an attempt to cope with their own anxieties and fears. Nykvist’s often stark imagery provocatively evokes a fatalistic atmosphere.
Rated PG, 142 minutes. The DVD includes a second disc with Michal Leszcylowski’s excellent, mandatory, documentary “Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky” (not rated, 102 minutes).