Andrey Zvyagintsev Brunches

The Return 12A (S)

The Return

Andrey Zvyagintsev magnificently announced himself as a major new talent in world cinema with this hauntingly mysterious and disquieting parable about rebellion against patriarchal authority, making him the first Russian director since Tarkovsky in 1962 to win the Golden Lion for Best film at 2003 Venice Film Festival.

An allegorical thriller with echoes of the Russian master, Zvyagintsev ‘s film follows Vanya and Andrey, two young brothers who return one night to discover their father has returned after a 12-year absence. While Andrey seems happy to see him, the younger Ivan is reluctant and suspicious of his father's motives. When the three take a boat to a deserted island in the remote lakes in northern Russia, the trip turns into an endurance test as the boys struggle to come to terms with their father's presence and cruel, mysterious ways.

Perhaps the purest film ever made about fathers and sons, its expertly controlled sense of foreboding and beautifully chilling canvas of pale watercolours instantly gave Zvyagintsev ‘s incredible debut both the look and feel of a classic. You can’t watch it without getting a lump in your throat, especially with the added knowledge that its 16-year-old star Vladimir Garin died shortly after filming in a tragic accident that echoed the film itself.