Winner of the 2014 London Film Festival’s top prize, and nominated for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, Andrei Zvyagintsev’s (Loveless) powerful satire takes aim at the institutions that control Russian life.

In the world of Nikolay, there is no such thing as separation of powers. Particularly when it comes to the church and state. He lives in a remote part of Russia. When the local priest decides he wants his church to occupy a more prominent position in the town, Nikolay’s home is earmarked for demolition. The more he resists, the more the weight of bureaucracy descends upon him.

Zvyagintsev’s film is glacially shot, capturing the beauty of the landscape but also reflecting the chill of corrupt authority. It is also blackly funny, portraying its brutish hero as a modern-day Job – always destined to fail, but nonetheless still willing to suffer.

★★★★★ “An overpoweringly remorseless film” - Nigel Andrews, Financial Times

★★★★★ “Magnificent” - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

Directed by
Runtime 140 Minutes
Release date 2014
  • Certification: 15