Basically, Scorsese's Silence without all the ambiguity at the end. That probably makes it less searching and challenging to modern audiences in general, and non-Christian audiences in particular, but somehow it still emerges as a masterpiece, a story of 20th century martyrdom that resounds with true belief in a way nothing else Ford made ever did. Here the calling of a priest is tested by every terror a modern totalitarian state can offer--from the fanaticism of the revolutionary to the…
3rd or 4th viewing. A masterpiece of criticism that illuminates Tarkovsky's oeuvre without explaining it. It allows us to see and feel more deeply, pointing out things we might have missed with great poetic insight, but never claims to have found the key or falls into the trap of definition. "Some deliver sermons. The greats leave us with our freedom."
And I could listen to Alexandra Stewart's voice all day.
Got to see it on the big screen at the IU Cinema. Even with an old print, and a brief breakdown in the middle when the sound went out, still awe-inspiring. I remembered the beginning and end very well, but there were great stretches in the middle that felt almost brand new. I had forgotten what an epic it is--the sheer scope of the battle scenes is just stunning, and magnifies the horror of it all even more.