On the heels of his award-winning 2003 feature debut The Return, filmmaker Andrei Zvyagintsev returns with this art-house crime drama concerning two brothers struggling to keep their lives together in the face of certain disaster. Soon after extracting a bullet from his brother’s arm, Alex (Konstantin Lavroneko) relocates his family from the city to his father’s old house in the countryside. As the family settles into their rustic existence, Alex’s wife Vera (Maria Bonnevie) reveals that she is pregnant by another man. –movies.amctv.com
Andrey Petrovich Zvyagintsev (Russian: Андре́й Петро́вич Звя́гинцев) (born February 6, 1964) is a Russian film director and actor. He is mostly known for his 2003 film The Return, which won him a Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.
Zvyagintsev was born in Novosibirsk, Siberia. At the age of 20 in 1984 he graduated from the drama school in Novosibirsk as an actor. Since 1986 he has lived in Moscow where he continued his studies at the Russian Academy of Theatre Arts until 1990. From 1992 to 2000 he worked as an actor for film and theater. In 2000 he began to work for the TV station REN TV and directed three episodes of the television series The Black Room.
In 2003, he directed his first feature film The Return, which received several awards, including a Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. His second feature film The Banishment premiered at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for a Palme d’Or. n 2008, he directed a short segment for the film New York… read more
The Tarkovsky citations are perhaps too reflexive, for Zvyagintsev’s canvas - all the more so in Izgnanie - with its subdued emotions, brooding moral crises and evocative landscape, is one more grounded, contemporaneous and cohabitant with Ceylan, say. It is the consistency in craft behind his alluring, slow-burning drama that ensures his position as auteur, and allows his family crux and dilemma to distinctly consolidate here and later in his Elena (or indeed, Three Monkeys, to which it truly reveals the greater, natural affinity).
It's truly a masterpiece, as it was "The Return". It's a pity it has been so massively overlooked by the critics, it should have received more prizes. It's beautifully directed and the plot is not at all thinly constructed; there's more to it than what we are shown. Even if its length can be off-putting for some, "The Banishment" holds us captive from beginning until the end. It left me with a desire to replay it.
While Zvyagintsev, owner of a remarkably subtle and pleasuring directing style, takes his time in setting the mood and tone of the film, the story is so minimally told and gives so little to the viewer to work with other than grand images of the Russian countryside and a few glancing details, that by the time his reworkings of time and meaning come to take place, their significance proves diminished and even obsolete