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NOSTALGIA (Nostalghia)Tarkovsky's unforgettably haunting film, his first to be made outside Russia, explores the melancholy of the expatriate through the film's protagonist, Gorchakov, a Russian poet researching in Italy.
Arriving at a Tuscan village spa with Eugenia, his beautiful Italian interpreter, Gorchakov is visited by memories of Russia and of his wife and children, and encounters the local mystic, who sets him a challenging task.
The film is filled with mysterious and extraordinary images: a flock of birds springing from a statue of the Madonna; flooded church ruins; Gorchakov's life and death struggle to cross the pool, filmed in a single take; and the final shot, where all the film's images coalesce into a miraculous whole.
As in all Tarkovsky's films, nature and the elements of fire and water, music, painting and poetry, and the contrast of black and white and colour photography, all play a major role.