King Lear of England retires from his throne of power. His decision to divide his kingdom among his elder daughters sparks off a chain of events that engulfs the entire countryside. Lear’s final days are marked by dissension, conflict and terrible violence. Humiliated and banished by his daughters, the King wanders the countryside like a beggar, accompanied by his Fool and a few faithful servants. Driven mad by despair, Lear’s megalomania consumes him to the point of blindness.
One of Shakespeare’s darkest works, King Lear receives vivid expression in this esteemed Russian rendition. The film’s use of widescreen and its stark black-and-white cinematography provide an expansive cinematic dimension to the tragedy. In the final film of his career, Grigori Kozintsev fashions a fitting twilight work; achieving in this harsh tale of mortality and power.
"A commanding title performance by Estonian actor Yuri Yarvet, some striking landscape imagery, and Dmitri Shostakovich's anguished score help make for a spirited adaptation” - BBC
Cast & Credits: Jüri Järvet / Elza Radzina / Galina Volchek / Valentina Shendrikova / Oleg Dal / Karlis Sebris / Leonhard / Merzin / Directed by Grigori Kozintsev
Awards: Chicago International Film Festival (1973), Nominated, Gold Hugo, Best Feature / Chicago International Film Festival (1972), Nominated, Gold Hugo, Best Feature
Technical: 1971 / 139 minutes / Russian with English subtitles / Mono audio / 2.35 : 1 Black & White / DVD PAL Multi Region / MRBDVD040
Licensed from Contemporary Films on behalf of Mosfilm.