The Priest (film)

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The Priest
The Priest poster.jpg
Directed byVladimir Khotinenko
Produced byVera Malysheva
Natalia Gostyushina
Sergei Kravets
Music byAlexey Rybnikov
CinematographyIlya Dyomin
Orthodox encyclopedia
Release date
  • 20 September 2009 (2009-09-20)
Running time
130 minutes

The Priest (Russian: Поп, romanizedPop) is a 2009 Russian drama film directed by Vladimir Khotinenko.[1]


The film begins in June 1941 in the backwater village of Tikhoe in Latvia. Priest Alexander carries out the duties of his ministry, helped by his wife, Alevtina. Two days later the Nazi invaders enter the village. The Nazi invaders are keen to reopen the Orthodox churches closed by the Soviet authorities. Alexander is offered a mission to the Pskov oblast. An Orthodox church building, confiscated and turned into a hall for film showings and the like, is restored to its former use, the church bell rescued from the lake etc. However life under the Nazis is ambiguous and the priest must walk a tightrope (metaphorically) between faithful Christian service and loyalty to his country and people. A poignant scene is the Easter service, celebrated along with Red Army POWs surrounded by German guards. Alexander and Alevtina also harbour Jewish orphans. Alevtina falls ill from contact with the POWs and puts the children first by losing herself in a snowstorm lest she infect the orphans. The plot concludes with the Soviet authorities back in power and the priest imprisoned by the NKVD. The epilogue shows the priest decades later, visited by the orphans he saved many years before.



Vladimir Khotinenko's film fell through at a rental cost of $ 6.8 million in production costs in all countries of hire amounted to only $ 1.7 million [2].


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