Cast: Vladas Bagdonas, Inga Oboldina, Darya Moroz
Repentance, atonement of sins, mercy and absolution are the topics that are again in the focus of attention of Russian film director Pavel Lungin. His film The Conductor, which will be shown at cinemas from the 29th of March, has premiered in Moscow. Film critics call his new film a parable, a musical drama and even an audio-visual symphony.
Unfortunately, there are no films in Russia about people’s thoughts and feelings, about relations in the family, Pavel Lungin says. For this reason, “I have to make ‘perpendicular’ films running counter to many trends of contemporary film-making,” he says.
“I meant to show the inner crisis of a man who was always believed to be good, - Pavel Lungin says. – He is a famous musician who dedicated himself to music and has reached great heights in his profession but in spite of this it turns out that he is cold, selfish and indifferent to people around him. He himself comes to realize this. When prominent personalities understand themselves, it is always interesting and dramatic.”
The music of the oratorio St. Matthew Passion sounds throughout the film. It is the background of eternal triangles on the screen, marriages falling apart, sequences showing life in an old monastery and the aftermath of a terrorist act on a market. The oratorio also sounds during the concert at the end of the film. Inga Oboldina, the actress who performs one of the main parts, calls this music the film’s ‘nervous system’ and the film itself a fantasy based on the oratorio.
“It is also a story about a choir which is anticipating a trip to Jerusalem, - the actress adds. – Each of the singers, like anyone going to the Promised Land, is looking forward to miracles. Each of the characters wants their life to change and become real and truthful. Their dreams come true but not as they expected. Man proposes and God disposes, and this is what the film is about.”
Announcer: The St. Matthew Passion oratorio, on which the film is based, was composed by a Russian Orthodox priest, Metropolitan Ilarion, who is a graduate of the Composition Department of Moscow Conservatory. The priest appreciates Pavel Lungin’s skill and believes that “the film is not a musical drama but a new synthetic production in which music plays its own part and the action develops independently but is constantly intertwined with the music”.
Another important ‘character’ of the film is the city of Jerusalem. Pavel Lungin says that ‘people are transformed there and either find religion or reject it’.
“This is a special place where one can find something important and change oneself, - the director says. – One can probably go mad or, on the contrary, resist the blows of fate. In this respect, I believe that everyone should go through Jerusalem. If you want to find something good and real you will find it there.”