Andrei Rublev

Based on the life of the fifteenth-century Russian icon painter, Andrei Rublev uses history to confront the present, investigating not only humanity's seemingly endless capacity for cruelty, but the responsibility of an artist to either fight it or record it. “I do not understand historical films which have no relevance to the present,” Tarkovsky wrote. “For me the most important thing is to use historical material to express Man's ideas and to create contemporary characters.” The monk and painter Andrei Rublev, wandering through a medieval period of barbarism and brutality, plays out the dilemmas facing every artist, every human, caught in a world spinning violently out of control. A grandly designed spectacle, as otherwordly and austere as Rublev's own canvases (J. Hoberman called it “a superproduction gone ideologically berserk”), Andrei Rublev is an intense exploration of the need for faith-whether in God, in humanity, in nation, or in art-to make sense of life.

This page may by only partially complete. For additional information about this film, view the original entry on our archived site.