Archive of films The Banishment / Izgnanije

2007, 150 min

Section: Open Eyes
Year: 2007

The second film from Andrey Zvyagintsev, whose film The Return won the top award at the Venice festival in 2003. Loosely inspired by William Saroyan’s novel, it tells the story of a family in crisis. Set in an indeterminate time and place, the film acquires a strongly spiritual dimension.


Alex takes his wife Vera and their two small children out of town to spend a few days in the house where he grew up, located in an isolated spot in rolling countryside. During their stay, Vera announces to Alex that she is pregnant and that the child isn’t his. Alex, incensed, insists she has an abortion. He sends the children to stay with friends for a few days and, with the help of his brother Mark, makes the arrangements for the operation to go ahead. The whole episode is not without its consequences, however, which force Alex to reflect on the legitimacy of his actions. A much anticipated film by Andrey Zvyagintsev, who won the Venice festival in 2003 with his debut The Return. Inspired by the short novel by William Saroyan (The Laughing Matter, 1953) the film depicts a family in crisis. The director takes us to an indeterminate time and place (the film was actually shot in Moldavia, Belgium and France), and the two main characters are played by Konstantin Lavronenko and star of Scandinavian film Maria Bonnevie.

About the director

Andrey Zvyagintsev (b. 1964, Novosibirsk) studied acting at the Novosibirsk Drama School (1984) and then at GITIS in Moscow (1990). He acted in several theatre productions and also appeared in commercials. He was cast in episodic roles for various TV series (Getting Acquainted / Budyem znakomy, 1999) and also in films such as Shirli-Myrli (1995, dir. Vladimir Menshov, screened in Karlovy Vary in 1996). He began working as a director with the TV crime series Black Room (Chornaya komnata, 2000), filming three episodes. In 2003 he debuted with the feature film The Return, which was a hit at several festivals. The strongly spiritual dimension of his narration also characterises his next film The Banishment, for which he again teamed up with cinematographer Mikhail Krichman.


Intercinema XXI Century
Druzhinnikovskaya Str. 15, 123 242, Moscow
Tel: +7 499 255 9052, +7 499 255 9082
Fax: +7 499 255 9053

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Open Eyes
Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev
Screenplay: Oleg Něgin / Oleg Negin, Andrej Zvjagincev / Andrey Zvyagintsev podle povídky Williama Saroyana Směšná záležitost / based on the story The Laughing Matter by William Saroyan
Dir. of Photography: Michail Kričman / Mikhail Krichman
Music: Andrej Děrgačev / Andrey Dergachev, Arvo Pärt
Editor: Anna Mass
Producer: Dmitrij Lesněvskij / Dmitry Lesnevsky
Production: Ren Film
Cast: Konstantin Lavroněnko / Konstantin Lavronenko, Maria Bonnevie, Alexandr Balujev / Alexander Baluev, Maxim Šibajev / Maxim Shibaev
Contact: Intercinema XXI Century

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