The Banishment  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Izgnanie (English title The Banishment) is a 2007 film directed by Russian filmmaker Andrey Zvyagintsev, based on the 1953 novel The Laughing Matter by William Saroyan.

A woman who loses her life through sophistry, a man who loses his wife through lack of communication and a baby unborn; this is the story of a couple and their two children who return to the man's native village for a short holiday, during which the woman (Maria Bonnevie) confesses that she is pregnant with the child of another man. We learn that the woman has previously attempted suicide and that her "confession" is just a way to open conversation with her estranged husband (Konstantin Lavronenko). Helped by his brother the man forces his wife to have an abortion.

Very beautiful widescreen photography by Mikhail Krichman and beautiful dronish and clicking score by sound designer Andreï Dergachev. Soundtrack also features Arvo Pärt's Für Alina.

Comparisions have been drawn to the work of Tarkovsky but also to Haneke's Caché, in the sense that the viewer is left guessing as to what certain plot elements actually are or represent.


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