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Ostrov at Sarratt

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The bearded sage, fielding philosophical questions from desperate wisdom-seekers while perched on a snowy mountaintop, is a cartoon cliché. Russian director Pavel Lungin’s 2006 Ostrov (The Island) presents us with that archetype come to life: Washed ashore on a remote island (he was set adrift on a boat by Nazis, after being forced to shoot his superior), Anatoly has spent 40 years cultivating a life as a pious monk with a cult following. To his followers, he gives advice that’s suitably eccentric, telling one widow she should slaughter her pig and move to France to find her husband. This gorgeously photographed movie contains flashes of humor, but it’s as portentous (if not, one hopes, pretentious) as it sounds: A parable about faith and forgiveness that invokes Dostoyevsky and Bergman. Recommended as part of a double feature with Hot Tub Time Machine.
Wed., April 7, 7 p.m., 2010

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