Sunday, October 2, 2022

"Island" (Остров), Pyotr Mamonov 2006

I offer here a quote from Caussade, Self-Abandonment to Divine Providence, Tan:Charlotte, NC, 2012, 357-358, which captures well the penitential trust of holiness portrayed in the film.

You cannot, you say [dear Sister], report anything to me, other than your wretchedness--I can well believe you, since, as long as we are in this life, we can but find ourselves for ever most wretched and imperfect. Do you desire a remedy that will effectively cure all this wretchedness? Here you have it: while abominating the sins which are the cause of them, cherish, or at least accept, their consequences, namely, the self-abjection and self-scorn which follow them. Yet in every case do so without vexation or grief, anxiety or discouragement. Do not forget that God, though he does not desire sin, makes a very useful instrument of it to keep us at all times in abjection and self-scorn. but for this bitter remedy we should soon give way to the intoxication of self-love. Be guided by me: remain steadfast in contentment, firm and tranquil in the midst of your wretchedness, while striving to decrease it. The greater progress you make spiritually, the more such wretchedness you will encounter. It is their ever more clearly recognized perception of their insignificance which strengthens the humility of the saints. Yet this humility, in God's sight, is for ever joyous and peaceful. It reaches the stage of cherishing spiritual poverty, and so automatically converts that poverty into riches. Recollect that it is beneath the dunghill of our wretchedness that God conceals the gifts he makes us. This to protect them from self-love's complacency and our futile self-esteem.

I do not blame your tears; yet I wish that when the poignancy of your grief finds expression in them, you would take care to shed them both for, and before, God. By this means you will feel, not bitterness, but a secret spiritual sweetness that will develop interior peace within you by instilling in you complete submission to every desire of God.

Pyotr Mamonov, an Orthodox monk, was a prominent figure in Russia's cultural scene for decades, having been a rock musician, poet and actor.

After founding the rock group Zvuki Mu (Sounds of Mu) in 1982, Mamonov became an underground cult figure in Moscow. He gained wider recognition after Soviet restrictions on rock music and alternative culture were lifted in the late 1980s as part of then-leader Mikhail Gorbachev's reforms.

Mamonov further expanded his fame through acting. He performed in numerous films and theater productions in the 1990s.

In the 1990s, Mamonov became deeply religious, converted to Orthodox Christianity, left the capital and settled in a village. He made a triumphant comeback as an actor, starring as a devout Russian Orthodox monk in Pavel Lungin's 2006 movie “Island” and as Russian Czar Ivan the Terrible in Lungin's 2009 film “Tsar.”

Mamonov suffered a heart attack and underwent a surgery in 2019. He died on Thursday, 15 July 2021 at the age of 70.

Russian Culture Minister Olga Lyubimova hailed the musician-actor as “bright, charismatic and strong.

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, praising the actor said that Mamonov's remarkable portrayal of religious characters was possible because of his spiritual experience.

According to Kirill, Mamonov used “the language of art to talk to viewers about eternal subjects: life and death, the sense of being and the value of good, internal struggles and the importance of heeding the voice of conscience.
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