At its heart, Banished is a story of survival. Though it is set in the stark historical reality of the founding of the penal colony in Australia in 1788 after the arrival of the First Fleet, it is not the story of Australia and how it came to be. Rather, it is a tale of love, faith, justice and morality played out on an epic scale in a confined community where the stakes are literally life and death.
Runtime: 60 minutes
Banished - The Banishment - Netflix
The Banishment (Russian: Изгнание, Izgnanie) is a 2007 Russian film directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev. The film is a loose adaptation of The Laughing Matter, a 1953 novel by Armenian-American writer William Saroyan. It stars Konstantin Lavronenko and Maria Bonnevie. The film premiered at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for the Palme d'Or. Lavronenko won the Best Actor award at the festival. It was released in Russian cinemas on 2 October 2007. The film received mixed reviews from critics.
Banished - Production - Netflix
Director Andrey Zvyagintsev said the project took him nearly three years to complete, starting from when he first thought about the plot. The film's screenplay was presented to Zvyagintsev by Artyom Melkumian, an Armenian friend of his who worked as a television cameraman. Melkumian loved William Saroyan's The Laughing Matter and spent ten years adapting the novel. Originally, the script had a lot of dialogue but Zvyagintsev said that when he started testing it with actors “it was a disaster” and had to remorselessly cut the dialogue. “The long dialogue would be impossible to film in a satisfying way. It would be very difficult for the actors to hold the viewers' attention for that long,” said Zvyagintsev. Zvyagintsev said “The entire success of the film depends on the cast. So I spend a long time finding exactly the right people. I always have an image of a particular character in mind, and then audition many actors and keep comparing the essence of the character with the essence of the people I meet. When the virtual and the real characters almost coincide, I know I've found my actor.” Zvyagintsev tried to avoid casting Konstantin Lavronenko who played a lead role in his previous film, The Return, but said “In the end I couldn't find anyone else who could be his equal.” Zvyagintsev postponed filming and waited twelve months for actress Maria Bonnevie who had a year-long contract with the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm. The film had 103 shooting days in four different countries—France, Belgium, Moldova and Russia. The city exterior scenes were filmed in historically industrial towns of Belgium and northern France: Charleroi, Roubaix and Tourcoing. The house, the railway station, the church, the cemetery and the wooden bridge next to the house were purposefully built on location near Cahul, Moldova. A shot involving a donkey which only lasts several seconds on screen took the crew half a day to film and used three cans of film. Zvyagintsev joked, “Now I say will never work with animals again.” Zvyagintsev intentionally removed cultural references to the time and setting of the film. Special attention was paid to architecture, signs and the vehicles. Finnish bank notes were altered to make them look more abstract and a French sign was digitally removed in post-production.
Banished - References - Netflix