Antireligious governmental policies oppressed Russians for decades; but, judging by the Moscow Film Festival winner, “The Island,” Orthodox Christianity animated their cultural imagination. The film opens with an obscure naval encounter in Northern Russia during the Second World War. The moral ambiguity – inherent in the fog of war – launches the main character, Anatoly, into an odyssey of faith and forgiveness. After a near-death experience, Anatoly awakens on a desolate island beach and finds solace among the members of an Orthodox monastic community. Told with humor and parable, the story follows Anatoly – now a priest – in daily interactions with fellow monks and visiting believers. The heart-rending disorientation of his youthful military experience evolves into the gifts of healing and spiritual direction. In a recent Year of Faith reflection, Fr. Carl Vacek, T.O.R., referred to the Second Vatican Council’s “Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy;” and spoke about the reorientation of living sacramental lives. In the film, Anatoly prays continually and allows the Holy Spirit to transform him into a visible sign of our Risen Lord. This 112 minute DVD is presented in Russian with English subtitles. Mature content limits the audience to high school and adult viewers. Order “The Island” from the Media Resource Center by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call Dan Hardester or Diane Gallagher@ 407-246-4895 (or 4897) for assistance. (Dan Hardester serves as Secretary of the Evangelization Secretariat and Director of the Media Center.)
Antireligious governmental policies oppressed Russians for decades; but, judging by the Moscow Film Festival winner, “The Island,” Orthodox Christianity animated their cultural imagination.