×

The Life and Ascension of Yuraz Bratchik

One of the oddball finds in Locarno's Soviet retro, "The Life and Ascension of Yuraz Bratchik" irreverently thumbs its nose at power, any power, in the true spirit of 1968, year of its making in Belarussia. A delightful sendup of the Middle Ages, it tells the story of how a 16th-century traveling puppeteer gets in trouble with the cardinal. To get off the torture rack, he agrees to pass himself off as Jesus Christ and quell the starving peasants' rebellion against the Catholic Church. But the masquerade backfires when Jesus and his apostles start wandering around the countryside, working "miracles," getting drunk and having a good time in a convent of sex-starved nuns.

With:
With: L. Durov, I. Rutberg, L. Krugly, A. Smirnov, P. Kormunin, L. Rumyanceva, B. Beyshenaliyev.

One of the oddball finds in Locarno’s Soviet retro, “The Life and Ascension of Yuraz Bratchik” irreverently thumbs its nose at power, any power, in the true spirit of 1968, year of its making in Belarussia. A delightful sendup of the Middle Ages, it tells the story of how a 16th-century traveling puppeteer gets in trouble with the cardinal. To get off the torture rack, he agrees to pass himself off as Jesus Christ and quell the starving peasants’ rebellion against the Catholic Church. But the masquerade backfires when Jesus and his apostles start wandering around the countryside, working “miracles,” getting drunk and having a good time in a convent of sex-starved nuns.

Version shown in Locarno was re-edited 12 times for the censors and still got only limited release; pic was finally taken off the shelf in 1989. One can only imagine what the original film was like. Setting brings to mind Andrei Tarkovsky’s banned Middle Ages historical tragedy “Andrei Rublev,” made two years earlier.

Popular on Variety

The Life and Ascension of Yuraz Bratchik

Soviet Union -- 1968

Production: A Belarusfilm production. Directed by Vladimir Bychkov, S. Skvortsov. Screenplay, V. Korotkevich, based on his novel.

Crew: Camera (color), A. Zabolotsky; editor, V. Kolyadenko; music, O. Karavaychuk; art directors, E. Ignatyev, I. Abdusalimov. Reviewed at Locarno Film Festival (Soviet retro), Aug. 8, 2000. Original title: Zhitiye i vozneseniye Yurasya Bratchika. Running time: 81 MIN.

With: With: L. Durov, I. Rutberg, L. Krugly, A. Smirnov, P. Kormunin, L. Rumyanceva, B. Beyshenaliyev.

More Film

  • Florenc Papas on Road Movies, Ancient

    ‘Open Door’ Helmer on Road Movies, Ancient Traditions, Social Pretensions

    Albanian director Florenc Papas, an alumnus of the Sarajevo Talents program, is in competition at the Sarajevo Film Festival with his feature film debut, “Open Door.” The road movie follows two sisters, Rudina and the pregnant and unmarried Elma, who embarks on a journey to visit their strict and traditional father in the remote mountain [...]

  • Dronningen/Queen of HeartsDirected by MAY EL-TOUKHYNordisk

    'Queen of Hearts,' 'White, White Day' Among Nordic Council Film Prize Contenders

    HAUGESUND, Norway  —  Iceland’s “A White, White Day,” Denmark’s “Queen of Hearts” and Norway’s “Blind Spot” are among the five films that will compete for this year’s Nordic Council Film Prize, a prestigious film award aimed at promoting Nordic co-operation and environmental initiatives. Sweden’s “Reconstructing Utøya” and Finland’s “Aurora” help round out the list, which [...]

  • Actor Javier Bardem looking at chinstrap

    Javier Bardem on Toronto-Bound ‘Sanctuary,’ See Trailer (EXCLUSIVE)

    MADRID  — Just selected as a Special Event at September’s Toronto Film Festival, Alvaro Longoria’s “Sanctuary.” starring and produced by Javier Bardem, may need a new ending. On Aug. 19, Bardem, along with Greenpeace, addressed delegates at the United Nations in New York to urge governments to agree to a strong Global Ocean Treaty. Creating [...]

  • Bosnia's Canton Sarajevo to Launch Film

    Bosnia's Canton Sarajevo to Launch Film and TV Rebate Incentive

    Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Canton of Sarajevo is introducing a new €1 million ($1.1 million) film funding initiative next year aimed at promoting domestic and international film and television production in the region. The incentive is the first of its kind in the country. Government representatives of Sarajevo Canton, including Prime Minister Edin Forto and culture [...]

  • Antlers Trailer

    Guillermo Del Toro's 'Antlers' Starring Keri Russell Drops Chilling First Trailer

    Events take a dark turn for a small town school teacher, played by “The Americans'” Keri Russell, in the first teaser trailer for horror movie “Antlers,” produced by Guillermo del Toro. The footage, unveiled Tuesday, centers on a young boy (Jeremy T. Thomas) reading from a frightening short story he’s written as Russell listens. The [...]

  • Why Hollywood Should Tone Down Violence

    Why It's Time for Hollywood to Reconsider the Amount of Violence on Screen (Column)

    To put it mildly, we live in scary, intolerant, violent times. Since a lone gunman walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012, and killed 20 children, six adults and himself, there have been at least 2,187 mass shootings across America, resulting in the deaths of some 2,461 people and wounding more than [...]

  • James Bond Spectre

    James Bond Movie Title Revealed

    The latest James Bond adventure finally has a title. The 25th entry in the action spy series will be named “No Time to Die.” In the upcoming movie, Bond (Daniel Craig) has left active service and is enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica. His peace is short-lived when his old friend Felix Leiter from the CIA [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content