This is another haunting film by Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky--his first made outside of the Soviet Union. Like all of his films, Nostalghia
has a mystical quality, as it follows the spiritual journey of a poet on a research mission in Italy. While traveling with his beautiful Italian interpreter in a Tuscan village, the poet suddenly becomes transfixed by memories of Russia and his family. A local mystic helps him see the right path in his life. Once again, Tarkovsky's imagery is gorgeous, and the narrative insightful. The past and the present collide in existential angst. Truly a cinematic feast for those interested in exploring life's deepest concerns. --Bill Desowitz
The Russian poet Andrei Gorchakov, accompanied by guide and translator Eugenia, is traveling through Italy researching the life of an 18th-century Russian composer. In an ancient spa town, he meets the lunatic Domenico, who years earlier had imprisoned his own family in his house for seven years to save them from the evils of the world. Seeing some deep truth in Domenico's act, Andrei becomes drawn to him. In a series of dreams, the poet's nostalgia for his homeland and his longing for his wife, his ambivalent feelings for Eugenia and her Italy, and his sense of kinship with Domenico become intertwined.