Synopsis: The Russian poet Andrei Gorchakov, accompanied by guide and translator Eugenia, is traveling through Italy researching the life of an 18th-century Russian composer. In an ancient spa town, he meets the lunatic Domenico, who years earlier had imprisoned his own family in his house for seven years to save them from the evils of the world. Seeing some deep truth in Domenico's act, Andrei becomes drawn to him. In a series of dreams, the poet's nostalgia for his homeland and his longing for his wife, his ambivalent feelings for Eugenia and Italy, and his sense of kinship with Domenico become intertwined.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Andrei Tarkovsky
Production: Kino Lorber
  3 wins & 1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
125 min

Speak Italian

We've arrived. I stopped here

so we could stretch our legs

It's a marvelous painting

I cried the first time I saw it

This light reminds me

of the autumn in Moscow

Come on.

-I don't want to

I'll wait for you inside.

-I don't want to!

"I'm tired of seeing these

sickeningly beautiful sights"

"I want nothing more

just for myself"

"That's enough"

Have you come to pray for a

baby too? Or to be spared them?

I'm just looking

If there are any casual onlookers

who aren't supplicants

then nothing happens

What is supposed to happen?

Whatever you like,

whatever you need most

But you should at least kneel down

I can't.

-They're used to it

They're used to it

They have faith.


Can I ask you something?

Why do you think

it's only the women

who pray so much?

You're asking me?

You see so many women here

I'm only the sacristan

But you must wonder why

women are more devout than men

You should know

Because you're a woman?

No, I've never understood

these things

I'm a simple man

But I think

a woman is meant to have children

to raise them

with patience

and self-sacrifice

That's all she's meant for?

I don't know.

-Thank you

You've been a great help

You asked what I thought

You want to be happy

There are more important things


Pitiful Mother, merciful Mother

Painful Mother, tormented Mother

Merciful Mother,

compassionate Mother

Anxious Mother, blessed Mother

Loving Mother, bright Mother

Mortified Mother, holy Mother

Painful Mother, proud Mother

Inspired Mother, bright Mother

Mother of all mothers, who knows

the pain of being a mother

Mother of all mothers, who knows

the joy of being a mother

Mother of all children, who

knows the joy of having a child

Mother of all children, who knows

the pain of not having a child

Mother who understands all, help

your daughter to become a mother

I just don't understand you

You go on and on about

the Madonna of Childbirth!

We drive halfway across Italy

in the fog

And you don't go in to see her

What are you reading?

Arseni Tarkovsky's poems

In Russian?

It's a translation

Quite a good one

Throw it away


The translator's a very good poet

Poetry is untranslatable,

like the whole of art

You may be right that poetry

is untranslatable

But music?

What is it?

Oriental music

But how could we have got to know

Tolstoy, Pushkin

and so understand Russia?

None of you understand Russia

Nor you Italy then

If Dante, Petrarch

and Machiavelli don't help

It's impossible for us poor devils

How can we get to know each other?

By abolishing the frontiers


Between states


You know a maid in Milan

set fire to the house?

Which house?

-Her employers' house

She missed her home

and family down South

So she burned the thing

that stopped her going back

Why did your musician, Sosnovsky

go back to Russia if he knew

he'd be a slave again?

Why won't you confide in me?

Read this.

You understand


The letter from

the Bologna Conservatory?

Yes. Was Sosnovsky

successful when he returned

to Russia?

Was he happy?

He started drinking

and then

He committed suicide?


I'm sorry, I was asleep

Do you have any identification?

I'll go and get the keys

Those aren't the other

hotel keys, I hope?

No, they're to my house

Here's your key

It's our best room

Good night, Andrei

Your room is on the next floor

It's nice here

The countryside's pretty too

There's the river, the mushrooms

People keep coming back,

they often fall in love here

You and your boyfriend

will like it

He's not my boyfriend

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Andrei Tarkovsky

Andrei Arsenyevich Tarkovsky (Russian: Андре́й Арсе́ньевич Тарко́вский, IPA: [ɐnˈdrʲej ɐrˈsʲenʲjɪvʲɪtɕ tɐrˈkofskʲɪj]; 4 April 1932 – 29 December 1986) was a Russian filmmaker, writer, film editor, film theorist, theatre and opera director. Tarkovsky's films include Ivan's Childhood (1962), Andrei Rublev (1966), Solaris (1972), Mirror (1975), and Stalker (1979). He directed the first five of his seven feature films in the Soviet Union; his last two films, Nostalghia (1983) and The Sacrifice (1986), were produced in Italy and Sweden, respectively. His work is characterized by long takes, unconventional dramatic structure, distinctly authored use of cinematography, and spiritual and metaphysical themes. Tarkovsky's works Andrei Rublev, Solaris, Mirror, and Stalker are regularly listed among the greatest films of all time. His contribution to cinema was so influential that works done in a similar way are described as Tarkovskian. Ingmar Bergman said of him: Tarkovsky for me is the greatest (director), the one who invented a new language, true to the nature of film, as it captures life as a reflection, life as a dream. Contrarily, however, Bergman conceded the truth in the claim made by a critic who wrote that "with Autumn Sonata Bergman does Bergman", adding, "Tarkovsky began to make Tarkovsky films, and that Fellini began to make Fellini films [...] Buñuel nearly always made Buñuel films." more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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