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5 - 19 February 2022: The Return


The Return
Andrey Zvyagintsev, 2003, 110 min
Russian with English subtitles

The father of two teenage boys suddenly reappears, without an explanation, after a 12-year absence. While shocked and puzzled, the boys are eager to make up for lost time, and the three embark on a road trip to rekindle their bond. Yet their secretive father seems to conceal obscure plans and baffles the teens with his bouts of temper and occasional charm. Something sinister hangs in the air in this enigmatic thriller, which combines mysteries with religious allusions. Zvyagintsev’s debut feature premiered at the Venice International Film Festival, where it won the Golden Lion and earned the director immediate comparisons to Andrei Tarkovsky, signalling the arrival of a bright new Russian auteur.

Part of our Essential Cinema series