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17 December 2016: Take Two: Andrei Rublev / The Valley of the Bees

Second Run pairs two astounding, expansive attempts at rendering medieval life on screen – František Vláčil’s visionary and evocative epic, The Valley of the Bees, segues into Tarkovsky’s harsh and beautiful magnum opus, Andrei Rublev.

The Valley of the Bees
František Vláčil
1967 | 97 min | B/W | Digital
Vláčil’s fourth feature chronicles the tale of a young boy forced to join the Order of the Teutonic Knights. As he grows into a man his desire to return to his homeland leads him to abandon the Crusaders, only to be pursued by a fanatical former comrade and pay a terrible price for his rejection of the Holy Order. With its resplendent black-and-white cinematography and highly convincing recreation of 13th-century Europe, the film is a raw and haunting moral fable which raises questions about the conflict between human nature and dogmatism. Released just before the ’68 Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia, the film’s theme was given a political interpretation and its screenings severely restricted by the authorities.
Andrei Rublev
Andrei Tarkovsky
1966 | 145 min | B/W | DCP

Immediately suppressed by the Soviets in 1966, Andrei Tarkovsky's epic masterpiece is a sweeping medieval tale of Russia's greatest icon painter. Widely regarded as Tarkovsky's finest film, Andrei Rublev charts the life of the painter through a turbulent period of 15th Century Russian history, which was marked by endless fighting between rival Princes and Tatar invasions.