The Island (Остров - with English subtitles)

Winner of 5 Nika Awards (Russian Oscars) including Best Film.
Film Summary: The barge, on which Anatoly and his senior comrade Tikhon transport coal, is seized by a German patrol ship. Anatoly begs the Germans for mercy, and in an act of disloyalty he shoots his captain. The Germans leave the coward on the mined barge, but thanks to the help of the monks from a nearby monastery on an island, Anatoly survives... Years go by. The elder (starets) Anatoly is respected for his just life and the guidance and help that he gives to the islands visitors. However, the terrible sin of the murder he committed during the war does not give him peace...

Google Video Length: 1:49:45
Subtitles: English.
Added by: unknown. (12 months ago)
Starring: Pyotr Mamonov, Viktor Sukhorukov.
Director: Pavel Lungin
Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)

A starets (Russian: стáрец) is an elder of an Orthodox Christian monastery who functions as a venerated adviser, and teacher. Elders or spiritual fathers are charismatic spiritual leaders whose wisdom stems from God as obtained from ascetic experience. through such means as prayer, ascetic struggle, humility, obedience, and the careful fulfillment of -- the Gospel commandments -- the will of God, the Holy Spirit bestows special gifts onto the elder including the ability to heal, prophesy, and give correct spiritual guidance and direction. Elders are looked upon as being an inspiration to believers and an example of saintly virtue, steadfast faith, and spiritual peace.

An elder, when not in prayer or in voluntary seclusion, receives visitors (some who travel from afar) and spends time solving each visitors concerns and problems, with the help of God, by advising, comforting, guiding, enlightening, praying and healing. If the starets is a cleric the faithful may also confess and receive forgiveness of their sins, from God, via the Holy Sacrament of confession. The faithful often petition the elder for intercessionary prayers, because "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. "(James 5:16)

The starets often has the gift to know the secrets of a person's heart, without having ever previously met the visitor, and the ability to discern God's plan for a person's life. This, as all of the elder's gifts, are a gift of the Holy Spirit acting through the elder.

Fool-for-Christ: The Yurodivy (Russian: юродивый, Jurodivyj) is the Russian version of Fool-for-Christ, that is a peculiar form of Eastern Orthodox asceticism. The Yurodivy is a Saint who acts intentionally foolish in the eyes of men while at the same time mysteriously helping people. Fools-for-Christ may employ unexpected and unconventional behavior to deliver prophecies, reveal the truth, unmask delusions, and beneficially influence those who are indifferent. In this way the Yurodivy conceal their virtues, increase their humility, eradicate pride (by avoiding man pleasing and the praise of men) and dedicate themselves, wholeheartedly, to fulfilling the will of God.

"Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness." (1 Corinthians 3:18-19 KJV)

St. Paul wrote "We are fools for Christ's sake.." (1 Corinthians 4:10 KJV)

A list of some of the Fools-for-Christ's sake of the Orthodox Church:

  • Anastasia Andretevna, Fool-for-Christ (March 1)
  • Blessed Andrew the Fool-for-Christ of Constantinople (October 2) (d. 936)
  • Blessed Andrew of Totma, the Fool-for-Christ (October 10)
  • Blessed Anthony Alexseevich, Fool-for-Christ of Zadonsk (September 29 - repose of) (1851)
  • Anthony Ivanovich, Fool-for-Christ of Valaam (June 7 - repose of) (1832)
  • Saint Arsenius of Novgorod, Fool-for-Christ (May 8)
  • Asenatha of Goritsky, Fool-for-Christ (April 19 - repose of) (1892)
  • Blessed Athanasius Adrewyevich of Orel, Fool-for-Christ (April 12 - repose of) (1967)
  • Blessed Basil of Moscow, Fool-for-Christ (August 2)
  • Blessed Cyprian of Suzdal (October 2)
  • Blessed George of Shenkursk, Fool-for-Christ (April 23)
  • Saint Isidore the Fool of Tabenna in Egypt (May 10)
  • Venerable Isidore the Fool-for-Christ and Wonder-worker of Rostov (May 14)
  • Blessed John "the Hairy" the Fool-for-Christ at Rostov (September 3 and November 12)
  • Venerable John the Ascetic and Fool-for-Christ
  • Blessed John of Ustiug the Fool-for-Christ (March 14 and May 29 - repose of) (1893)
  • Blessed John of Moscow, Miracle-worker and Fool-for-Christ (July 3)
  • Jonah, Fool-for-Christ of Peshnosha Monastery (June 15 - repose of) (1838)
  • Blessed Laurence the Fool-for-Christ at Kaluga (August 10)
  • Saint Maximus Kausokalyves (Mt. Athos), (January 13)
  • Blessed Maximus of Totma (Vologda), Fool-for-Christ (January 16)
  • Venerable Maximus of Moscow the Fool-for-Christ (August 13 - opening of his relics)
  • Venerable Michael the Fool-for-Christ of the Klops Monastery (January 11) (June 23 - translation of his relics)
  • New-Martyr Michael (Misha), Fool-for-Christ (April 1) (1931)
  • Blessed Michael and Thomas, Fools-for-Christ of Solvychegodsk (Vologda) (July 3)
  • Blessed Nicholas of Salos of Pskov the Fool-for-Christ (February 28)
  • Blessed Nicholas Kochanov, Fool-for-Christ at Novgorod (July 27)
  • Blessed Paisius, Fool-for-Christ of the Kiev Caves (April 17 - repose of) (1893)
  • Blessed Parasceva "Pasha of Sarov," Fool-for Christ of Diveyevo Convent (September 22) (1915)
  • Saint Paul, Fool-for-Christ (November 6)
  • Blessed Pelagia Ivanovna Serebrennikova
  • Blessed Procopius of Vyatka, Fool-for-Christ (December 21)
  • Saint Procopius the Fool-for-Christ and Wonder-worker of Ustiug (July 8)
  • Righteous Procopius of Usya (Vologda), Fool-for-Christ (July 8)
  • Venerable Symeon of Emesa the Fool-for-Christ (July 21)
  • Blessed Simon of Yurievits, Fool-for-Christ (May 10)
  • Blessed Theodore of Novgorod, Fool-for-Christ (January 19)
  • Saint Theodore, Fool-for-Christ (February 25)
  • New-Martyr Theoktista Michailovna of Voronezh (February 22) (1936)
  • Blessed Schema-hieromonk Theophilus, Fool-for-Christ of the Kiev Caves (October 28 - repose of) (1852)
  • Saint Thomas the Fool of Syria (April 24)
  • Saint Xenia of St. Petersburg, Fool-for-Christ (January 24)

Остров, Ostrov, Ostrob, Octrob, Octrov