The Priest

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  • NR
  • 2009
  • 2 hr 3 min
  • 7.1  (1,308)

The Priest is a 2009 Russian drama film directed by Vladimir Khotinenko. The story is set in the 1960s Soviet Union, where atheism is the state religion and the church is under heavy surveillance by the KGB. The film follows Father Pavel (Sergey Makovetskiy), a Russian Orthodox priest who is struggling to uphold his faith and maintain his pastoral duties in these challenging circumstances.

Father Pavel is an academic and intellectual who takes his role very seriously, and his faith is a crucial part of his life. He is constantly challenged by the authorities, who try to undermine his position and break his resolve. The KGB agents are always watching him, and they make it clear that any misstep could lead to his arrest and imprisonment.

Despite the constant pressure, Father Pavel remains committed to his mission of serving his congregation and spreading the gospel. He is aided by two strong women in his life: his housekeeper, Dunya (Nina Usatova), and his young and devoted acolyte, Alyosha (Elizaveta Arzamasova). As Father Pavel struggles to balance his personal convictions with the many demands placed upon him, his relationships with these two women take on an increasingly critical role in his life.

Much of the drama in the film comes from the complex relationships between these three main characters. Father Pavel is conflicted between his religious ideals, the pressures of his job, and his growing feelings for Dunya, who has been a constant presence in his life for many years. Meanwhile, Alyosha is young and naive, but also idealistic and strongly committed to his mentor. These three people form the heart of the story and provide an emotionally engaging narrative that keeps the audience invested in their fates.

The film is notable for its impressive production values and excellent performances. Sergey Makovetskiy in particular is outstanding in his role as Father Pavel, bringing a great deal of depth and nuance to his portrayal of a man struggling to reconcile his faith with the realities of life in the Soviet Union. Nina Usatova and Elizaveta Arzamasova are also excellent, providing strong support as two women who are essential to Father Pavel's ability to carry out his duties.

Overall, The Priest is a powerful and emotionally affecting drama that offers a unique perspective on life in the Soviet Union during a difficult period in Russian history. The film's exploration of faith, idealism, and human relationships is both thought-provoking and deeply moving, and it will resonate with audiences of all backgrounds and beliefs.

The Priest
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 3 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.1  (1,308)