Vera Koshkina

The Passion According to Andrei: transcription of the dialogue

The author is a PhD student in the Slavic department at the University of Chicago. She has graciously sent us a translation of the dialogue spoken in The Passion According to Andrei (the original cut of Andrei Rublyov) which aims at being more faithful and detailed than its predecessors.
We believe the result will be of great interest to scholars and anyone seriously studying this film.

Andrei Rublev: The Passion According to Andrei

Screen Play: Andrei Tarkovsky, Andrei Konchalovsky.

Director: Andrei Tarkovsky, 1966.


Efim – a peasant who attempts the first hot air balloon flight

ArhipEfim’s assistant

Depiction of the legend of ‘Russian Icarus’ based on a forged Chronicle entry from the year 1731. The legend describes an attempted flight on a hot air balloon of a peasant in a Russian town of Riazan. The scene depicts a group of men near a Church running around and shouting to one another. One of the men runs up the Church bell tower and presumably jumps down. Bird’s eye view shots of earth follow.

[Men shouting to one another]

Man’s Voice 1: Come now – tighten the rope!

Man’s Voice 2: Which one? This one?

M1: Well..!

M3: Arhip – pass me the strap

M1: Hold on to it – tightly!

M2: Here, take it.

M1: Aha!

Man’s Voice 1: Look – looks like Efim!

[Unintelligible shouts in the distance]

M2: Come on – go help him up.

M3: Petra - Petra bring over the rope!

M1: Father – oh my God – but it is here – here you go!

M4: Come on hurry – lift it up.

  • Oh God let us make it in time!

[Men shouting to one another]

  • Hold on

  • Com on hurry!

  • Here – hold on

  • Why are you dragging your feet so?

  • The rope got tangled!

  • Well – hold on!

  • We won’t make it!

Efim: Arhipushka – hold them up!

  • Alright now

  • Here I am, here…

Arhip: Uncle! Uncle – cut the rope! Hurry up and cut the rope!

Woman’s voice: aaah – goodness gracious he is flying!

Arhip: Efim!

Efim: aaaa – I’m flying!

A: Where are you going?

E: Arhipushka - I’m flying…I’m flying… (laughter)

  • Hey – you!

  • Hey – you catch up to me!

(sound of popping and deflation)

  • Oh lord – what is this?

  • Arhipushkaaaaa!!!

Episode 1 - “Skomoroh”

Summer 1400

Kiril – a learned monk, assistant to Danila

Andrei (Rublev) – a monk; apprentice to Danila (will go on to become a master in his own right)

Danila (the Black) – a monk; a master painter

Three monks leave the Trinity (Troitski) monastery to go to Moscow. A novice is sent by the Father Superior of the monastery to convince them to return. The monks refuse to return, and continue on. They get caught in a storm and stop in a village to wait it out. A public entertainer, ‘skamaroh’, dances for the village crowd as the monks look on. Guards appear and take the skamaroh away. The storm subsides and the monks continue on their way.

[Three monks walking outside of a monastery gates]

Young monk: Heeeey – Danila, Danila – Father Superior says ‘come back’. Otherwise who will paint the Assumption? ‘For God’s sake’ he says…

Kiril: Go on – get out of here. This is none of your business.

Young Monk: You will be sorry, will bow to his feet – but Father Superior will not forgive you then…

K: Fine – we will see…

Andrei: All right, enough now, enough.

M: Well you just wait…

[Monks walking through a wooded area; through a field]

Andrei: This is no good.

Kiril: What isn’t good?

Andrei: This - that we are leaving the Trinity.

  • It’s just that it’s a pity…

Kiril: And I bet in Moscow there are plenty of painters besides us. What do you think Danila?

Danila: No worries – well find some sort of work.

A: It is all so – it’s just a shame that…

D: It's true….say this birch here - passed by it every day, never noticed it, but when you know that you’ll never see it again – just look at it standing there!

A: Ten years here after all...

D: Nine!

A: No, nine for you, ten for me.

D: No way – seven for you, nine for me.

A: It's raining – lets go here? (gestures to the birch)

K: Oh come on - you won’t melt.

[Inside the peasant hut, the skomoroh and peasant men] we amused ourselves, belching mead

We ran into Lord Boyar – one crooked Tatar!

Started song playing, name calling and entertaining.

Singing ‘bout how at Lord Boyars’ –

all the grubs stewed and fried up

How the Lord’s Lady is fine –

Will go off to the side -

but not on any ole ride

Old Lady open up the door – your Lord Boyar is here!’

-And the Boyar same old story

All ye buffoons are none but thieves and drunks,

- Should be whipped this Friday till next – mark!

You asses and tramps – may you drown in mead!’ Pa!

But they grabbed him good – Ha!

Below the belly over the knee…

The bearded Lord – quick with his fleece, they sheared him clean.

Without a beard all is not right - no lady will come to’ without a fight!

Lord Boyars is weeping – round the hut like a flea a- leaping.

Lo! Even the he-goats got his fleece – let me run off to my miss!”

He knocks at the window – ‘ho!

But his lady knew him not now

Threw a mangle across his brow now

What is this! Don’t be cross!’

Your mug is lousy – put some breeches on this fallacy;

Run along away from here – Lord Boyar without a beard!’

The Lord Boyar mumbles ba..a..

.The geese repeat his bagaga..

He ran off down the crooked street

a crooked one a winding one

a winding one a finding one

And was spotted by a priest

Who took him for a damsel – ‘Geeze!’

Into the shrub they tumbled

and fumbled and fondled

and fondled and fumbled

into the shrub they tumbled

and so on and on and on and

on and on and on and on!

When his breeches done come off,

Turn him this way and that,

Look above and below – all the same,

All the same!

What sort of riddle is this!

Which way is the face?

Which way is the face!

[The men laughing and screaming]

  • Here – drink some

A drunk man:

I saw a naked lass

and grabbed her by the beard

Man screaming: don’t – don’t do it.

[Monks enter the hut]

Kiril: There is a thunderstorm – can we tide over?

M1: Come on in

Skomoroh: Perhaps you’ll have some drink – look how wet you are...

K: Thank you – we do not drink

S: …and women we don’t…

Kiril to other monks: God made the priest – the devil made the skomoroh.

[Men converse in the hut; laughter; the camera travels in a circle around the room]

  • Skomoroh…

  • Naked lass…

  • And by the beard…

[Men fighting outside]

  • Maybe my woman is also…

  • I’ll show you my woman..

  • any case your woman is a …

[Guards1 ride up and enter the hut]

Guard1: … come over here

[Monks amongst themselves]

Andrei: And where have you been?

Kiril: In the yard – let’s move on.

Andrei: Danila – hey Danila – the rain has stopped. Let’s go.

Danila: God be with you dear hosts…

Episode 2 - “Feofan the Greek”

Summer – Winter – Spring – Summer 1404 – 1405



Feofan the Greek – Master icon painter, the most reputed iconographer of his time before the rise of Andrei Rublev.

Kiril, now in Moscow, is walking through a crowd gathered to watch an execution. He comes to a Church where he knows Feofan the Greek, a great artist, to be working. Upon their meeting, Feofan confuses Kiril for Andrei Rublev (of whom he has heard previously). Kiril and Feofan talk. Feofan invites Kiril to be his assistant. Kiril agrees on condition that Feofan will come to the Trinity monastery himself and request that Kiril be his assistant in front of all the brethren. Instead of replying to Kiril’s request, Feofan opens the shutters and confronts the crowd below about excessively torturing the man they are executing.

[Kiril passes through a crowd gathered to watch an execution – voices in the crowd]

Man’s voice1: Do not ruin me brothers – I pray you!

Man’s voice2: It was all as I say.

Woman’s voice: how can this be done without a trial2

Man’s voice1: I am not guilty – not guilty!

[Kiril enters a church]

Kiril: Anyone alive here?

Feofan: Came to take a look?

K: Yes - to take a look…

F: Well look on – we’ll start glazing shortly.

K: So you are Feofan the Greek himself?

F: Here I am – but why do you stare at me – look there. (gestures at the icon) Where are you from yourself?

K: From the Andronnikov Monastery

F: From Andronnikov – so you are perhaps Andrei Rublev?

K: No –

F: - otherwise I’ve heard. Everyone praises him much – this Rublev.

K: He is skilled. But he has a long way to go to match this…

-The colors are all so delicate...

- My god this is simply…

F: Why did you stop praising? Go on…

K: It seems I cannot. I can’t say it clearly. Konstantin Kostenecki put it well when he said “You will know the true essence of a thing if you name it properly.”

-While Andrei, I could tell this to his face, he is like a brother to me… He is praised, it is true. He even applies paint subtly, delicately, with skill. Only in all this he has no – fear3, no faith. Faith that is wrest from the bottom of his soul. Nor does he have simplicity. How is it that Epifani puts it in The Life of St. Sergius? ‘Simplicity without ostentation’ - so it is! Simplicity without ostentation – that’s true holiness. Can’t say it any better.

F: I see you are full of learning.

K: And if so – is it a good thing? Perhaps it is better in the darkness of ignorance to follow the edicts of one’s own heart.

F: “For in much wisdom there is much sorrow…

K: …and he who multiplies his knowledge multiplies his grief.”4

F: Proshka – where is the glaze? Whose ears should I box? – it’s as if everyone has been swallowed up by the earth.

K: They say you paint5 quickly.

F: Why – I can’t do it otherwise. I get bored. Once I spent a whole weak tossing and turning – and threw it over in the end.

K: Threw it out?

F: No – why throw it out – used it to press cabbage with. And by the way – I’m sick of everything! – flanked by students and helpers all around, but not a single clever one among them. Some can barely pick out the alphabet.

  • Listen – come be my helper.

K: Do not fool around with me – don’t make fun.

F: I’m not joking at all. In the spring I must go to Moscow to decorate the church of Holy Annunciation – and have no one to take with. The scaffolding is already up there – in Moscow.

-You see.

K: I see, I see – but I could not do it.

F: I will show you everything myself – explain all to you. Have you ever mixed oils?

K: Sure.

F: Sure thing then! With a head like yours – look at what fools mark up the walls around here.

K: But I’ve said no, so let’s not go on about it.

F: Well suit yourself. I can’t even recall such a case. Make sure you do not regret it later – I’m spiteful.

K: Whether I regret it or not – it’s your sin. A poor nameless monk comes to you – you like that you can talk books to him so you decide to be beneficent without a moment’s thought. Meanwhile I have not touched a book in three years now, and don’t ever want to touch them again.

F: Why so?

K: So it is – I have a different path to follow.

F: God forsaken imbeciles! Where is Proshka? Where is Ekentij?

Young Assistant: They ran out to the square to watch the execution of the official.

F: Their God-forsaken mugs!

  • You see how it is…and you won’t help out. Meanwhile I’m going to die soon.

K: This is to no end…

F: No – it's true. The other day I dreamt of an angel. ‘Come with me’ he says. And I say to him, ‘I will die soon even without you’. See…

  • Perhaps you’ll change your mind?

K: Fine – but I have one condition for you…

F: Whatever you want… money? We will go halves – deal?

K: Oh no – I’ll work for nothing, but only if you yourself come for me to Andronnikov, you yourself before the community, before Father Superior persuade me to come be your helper, before all brethren and Andrei Rublev, then I will serve you like a dog, like a slave, till the day I die.

F: And what are you called?

K: Kiril

F: Kiril…

[Feofan yells out of the window at the crowd below]

  • How so, true-believers, lovers of truth and Christianity! How long will you go on tormenting the villain? How soon will you end this? He has already paid for all sin sevenfold with his suffering – his own sins and yours. You yourselves are unthinkable sinners but you judge all the same. You have no Christ with you!


Foma – a novice of the Monastery and a future apprentice to Andrei Rublev



Andrei Rublev

Danila the Black

Kiril is silent in his cell; his voice, in a voiceover is reciting a passage from Eclesiastes. Foma comes in and interrupts him. Foma leaves and returns almost immediately to announce the arrival of a messenger from Moscow. Kiril believing the messenger has come for him, and runs out to meet him. Instead, the messenger announces that The Grand Prince and Feofan the Greek are requesting that Andrei Rublev be the one to assist with the Church. Andrei agrees. Danila is hurt by Andrei’s quick agreement, (Andrei was Danila’s apprentice) and refuses to go with him. Andrei selects apprentices and decides to leave the very day. Before leaving, Andrei comes to Danila’s cell and they make peace. Outside, a crowd gathers around Kiril, who is leaving the monastery to live in the world. Father Superior of the monastery comes to put an end to the spectacle Kiril is making.

[Alone in his cell Kiril is silent – his voice behind the scene narrates]

-Rejoice, O youth, while you are young and let your heart be glad during the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart, the vision of your eyes; yet understand that for all this God will punish you. Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come, and the years approach of which you will say, I have no pleasure in them. Before the silver cord is snapped and the golden bowl is broken, and the pitcher is shattered at the spring, and the broken pulley falls into the water well. And the dust returns to the earth as it once was, and the life breath returns to God who gave it. Vanity6 of vanities, says Eclesiastes, all things are vanity!

[Young assistant enters]

Foma: Kiril – Kiril have you seen father Nikadim? - Haven’t seen him since morning. Took my mitts and disappeared as if evaporated. Meanwhile I have to stack the firewood – the logs are icy. Why are you burning the candle? It's morning already and you are still burning up a candle.

Kiril: Have you fed my dog?

Foma: Why – did you ask me to?

(Kiril moves in on Foma)

F: - What’s with you?

K: Go on

[Foma leaves, narration continues. This time Kiril is speaking]

-The sayings of the wise are like needles; like broken nails and their gatherers all come from the same pastor. Above all, of this, my son, beware. Of the making of many books there is no end, and in much study there is weariness for the flesh. Let us hear the essence of all: Fear God and keep his commandment, for this is man's all.

[Foma screaming outside]

F: The messenger‘s come! Look at who‘s come - the messenger‘s come.

K: Well?

F: A messenger has come from the Grand Prince.

K: Well?

  • The messenger has come from Feofan the Greek

K: Well?

F: Well well…

[The messenger speaks outside with the brethren]

Messenger: The great prince commands you to come to Moscow, to adorn the church of the Holy Annunciation together with Feofan the Greek.

Andrei: Say…

Messenger: So this is really Andrei Rublev?

Kiril: He is Rublev verily, and I am Kiril.

M: And Feofan the Greek commanded me to tell you to come to Moscow, and that he would like to see you.

Andrei: Say – I thank Feofan and that…well…that I will come.

M: oh – my head is spinning…

  • Bring her here

  • Why so

  • Select whomever you like to assist you and come tomorrow. Is there a smithy nearby - otherwise I’ll stumble again.

Monk: As soon as you leave the gates there will be a clock tower, the smithy is just beyond it.

M: Good bye7 godly flock…

Monks: Good bye, good bye

[Voice behind the camera]

Monk 1: Semen – come over here!

Monk2: Why are you standing so – come here!

[Andrei, Danila and other monks]

Andrei: Danila, perhaps we should leave today? Get our things together and be on our way? Feofan may change his mind…

Danila: What are you talking about – I’m not coming…

Andrei: What do you mean not coming?

Danila: Just so

A: But how will I go on without you?

D: However you like...

A: But I thought we would go together…

D: And why did you think on my behalf? I was not invited…

A: But I can’t make it without you!

D: Sure you can. When you agreed to go you did not ask me. Gave your agreement speedily, Feofan barely beckoned you with his finger. Thus don’t despair. You are not the first and will not be the last. I have plenty to do here without you.

A: Good then! Foma, Aleksei – let’s go! Piotor, get your things together – you’re coming with me.

[Andrei and Danila in a cell]

Danila: You forget something here?

Andrei: I came to say goodbye.

D: We already took our leave.

A: I came to say goodbye. I was feeling badly in any case, and now I go and cause enmity between us. I can’t leave like this. I came to give confession8. Will you receive it?

-You see I can’t do anything Danila. So many years in one cell with you…I have no one but you. I see the world through your eyes; hear it through your ears. With your heart…Danila…

D: I’m so happy for you – you fool. If only you knew how happy I am. Go to Moscow. Adorn the cathedral – and I will be happy. The devil muddled me earlier also. You too forgive me.

A: I will be back Danila…

[Outside – Kiril and other Monks]

Monk1: Where are you going – what about the evening prayers?

Kiril: You can do without me and I will do without you somehow.

M1: What is with you today Kiril – honestly?

M2: Has something happened Kiril?

K: I’m sick of all this! Sick of lying. I’m going into the world. Why did we leave the Trinity? Andrei? Danila? You are silent! Because the brothers started to put personal gain above faith. Forgot the reason they entered the sanctuary. And over here? We thought that we would serve God with our faith and works and what has come of it? The monastery has turned into a bazaar! Here – you, servant of God, what did you give for your seclusion? Twenty souls, or perhaps thirty?9 And you here – followed the father superior all over bargaining. In exchange for two meadows or perhaps for one you were bargaining to purchase your eternal salvation. You all know it even without me but you keep quiet, pretend that you don’t see it. Perhaps I would have kept quiet and suffered all this abomination. If I had any talent. Not even talent – the slightest ability to paint icons. God did not grant it – and thank goodness; I am glad that I am incompetent. From this only I am honest and pure before God.

M1: Kiril

M2: He has lost it..

K: And moreover I will tell you brothers!

Father Superior: What will you tell us here? What will you tell us brother of which we do not already know? Do you yourself know what happens to the likes of you? Say on – I won’t be offended – don’t you worry.

K: But I’m just…

FS: Go on get out of here – you dog! Out of my sight – serpent’s breed! There will be a place for a brazen one like you in the world.

K: Here now – you see..

Monks: Kiril…

M2: no – he speaks rightly

K: It is written! It is written -

And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, and said unto them - my house is called the house of prayer; but you have made it a den of thieves…




Feofan the Greek

Andrei and Foma are walking through the woods and talking. Andrei is unhappy with Foma’s work. The difference between the approaches of the two artists, Andrei and Foma, are manifest.

[Andrei and Foma walking through the woods]

Andrei: I spent three years washing Danila’s brushes before he trusted me with an icon. It’s a wonder! Not even to fix it up, only to wash it up a bit.

Foma: And do you trust me?

Andrei: But you lie all the time! Last night you returned with your cassock all sticky. Where were you yesterday?

Foma: At the bee-hive.

Andrei: And yesterday you told me that you went to the Andronnikov Monastery. Take a look at yourself. All swollen…Moisten it with something, put some cool mud on it. Otherwise you’ll swell up like a boar.

F: It's probably too late already – it won't help.

A: Brother there is no end to your lying. I even wonder sometimes if you’ve caught a disease of some sort.

F: Me? What sort of a disease?

A: Why not? There probably exists such a sickness where a man lies all the time and cannot stop himself.

  • Look Foma… I say look at this…

  • You have become so wise lately that I will soon stop teaching you entirely.

Foma: Why should I learn – I’ll spend three years washing brushes in either case.

A: I’m so sick of you lately Foma! Go back to Andronnikov, go wherever you like! God have mercy on me…

  • I simply do not understand how I took you on.

Foma: You are always like this – first the one way then the other. Even Feofan said – ‘this one sees a foot into the ground and likes the ultramarines’…

A: But you were a different man then – you worked hard, did not lie! And in any case you know what Feofan said about your ultramarine? – ‘Mighty generous he is with this ultramarine’.

F: Who cares what Feofan said – I still have the best eye.

A: And you eat your fill too. How you work after this I simply cannot imagine. Must be heavy…

F: But when your stomach is growling how can you think of anything else – all you hear is the growling.

A: You are a lucky one, Foma. It’s all clear and simple for you. When you don’t work you sleep or get yourself into trouble. But it is only through prayer that a soul can pass from the seen to the unseen. – Perhaps you should go study with someone else.

F: Perhaps – if you are sending me out.

A: All right, all right. Don’t be angry.

F: Look at – what is that?

[Foma and Andrei see Feofan]

Feofan the Greek : So you decided to leave the Apostle on the left rather than above a column?

Andrei: Foma – Did you take the glue off the fire?

Feofan the Greek : Did you take the glue off?! [grabs Foma by the ear]

Foma: AAA

Feofan the Greek: There he goes – ‘likes ultramarine’ – he should be whipped like an ass every Saturday


Andrei Rublev

Feofan the Greek

Andrei, Foma and Feofan are in a field. Andrei and Feofan discuss art, the nature of man and his relation with God. A silent interlude follows their conversation. The interlude depicts a man dressed as a Russian peasant followed by a small crowd as he drags a cross up a snow-covered hill. Once at the top of the hill, the cross is erected and the man crucified.

[Feofan the Greek, Andrei, Foma in a field]

Feofan the Greek: You are so stubborn Andrei – God have mercy on me! Where have you seen such a thing, when each worries about his own?

Andrei: All around – when those Muscovite women gave their hair as ransom to the Tatars!

FG: Those fools had nothing else left to do. It is better to go bare-headed than to suffer torment. What does selflessness have to do with this?

A: But you can’t go on like this! It is true that for all time Russian women have been endlessly unfortunate and humiliated – but in any case this is not what I’m talking about…

FG: Alright you tell me on your word – are the folk ignorant or not? What do you say? I can’t hear you?

A: Ignorant! Only whose fault is it?

FG: They are ignorant due to their own idiocy. Don’t you have sins of your own due to your idiocy?

A: How can I not?

FG: As do I! Oh, Lord, forgive, reconcile, and humble. In any case! The last judgment is near; we will all burn like candles then. And mark my word such horrors will begin! All will blame one another for their own sins. All will try to excuse themselves before the almighty.

A: How you paint with such thoughts I do not understand. And receive praise moreover! I would have taken on a vow of silence long ago, would have gone away to live in a cave forever.

FG: I serve the lord, not the people. And praise! Today they praise tomorrow they blame for the very thing they praised yesterday. And the day following they forget you entirely. I will be forgotten and you will be forgotten. They will forget all. All is dust and vanity! Greater things have been forgotten! Mankind has already committed every imaginable vileness and stupidity and is only repeating them all over now. All over again, round and round it goes. If Jesus were to come back to earth they would crucify him just the same.

A: Well of course - if you remember only vileness you will never be happy before God.

FG: What?

A: Perhaps some things ought to be forgotten – but not all things. I don’t know how to say it – how to put it.

FG: Don’t know how to put it, so be quiet. Listen to what I have to say at least. Well – what are you looking at?

A: So you think that good deeds can only be done in solitude?

FG: Good deeds, good deeds! Remember for example the New Testament. Jesus assembled the people in temples to educate them. And then they all assembled for what? To crucify him! Crucify him! They screamed – Crucify him! And his disciples? Judas sold him. Peter renounced him. All ran away – and these were the best of them.

A: But they all repented!

FG: But this was later! Don’t you understand that this was later – when it was too late already!

A: That is what repentance is all about – that it is never too late.

FG: So it is, so it is…

A: It is true that people do evil deeds and this is a pity, but you cannot blame them all together for it. It's hard to be that way and I think it is a sin also. Judas sold Christ but remember who bought him? The people? And who accused him? Once again Pharisees and Scholars. They could not find a single witness. Who would accuse an innocent? Only later did they find a traitor…

FG: They found two – two at one time!

A: All right two – but two are not all. And these Pharisees are masterful liars. Learned and cunning. They only got learning so as to get power over the ignorant. People just need to be reminded more often that they are people, fellow Russians! One earth, one blood. Evil can be found everywhere, you can always find someone who is ready to sell you for thirty gold pieces. And a man is always burdened with new cares. Either the Tatars come three times in one autumn, or famine, or the plague, and he just works and works and works, bears his cross, meekly, he does not despair but bears it in silence. Only begs God to grant him the strength. How can the almighty not forgive such ones for their ignorance? You know this yourself, sometimes something is not working out, or you are tired, you’ve tormented yourself so, and suddenly you’ll meet someone’s eye in the crowd, a human gaze, and it is as if you have received Communion10, and all is easier again. Is it not so?

-Earlier you were talking about Jesus – but perhaps he was only born and came to earth in order to reconcile man with God. After all Jesus was from God, therefore all-powerful and if he died on the cross it must have been preordained so. Both his crucifixion and his death are God’s deeds. And it should have caused hatred not of those who crucified him but of those who loved him, if they were to surround him at that moment. For they loved him as a man and he himself, according to his own will departed, exposing the injustice or maybe even the cruelty. Perhaps he who crucified him loved him, because he was assisting God in this single deed…

FG: Do you understand what you are saying? They will send you away up north to fix up icons for your tongue.

A: Am I wrong? You yourself always say whatever comes to your mind.

FG: Whats it to me – I’m a man of the world, I’m free…

Episode 3 – “The Holiday”

Spring 1408




Sergei – a boy of 12 or 13; an assistant to Andrei

Other monks

Marfa – a village woman



Andrei, Danila and their assistants are on their way to Moscow to adorn a cathedral. They are traveling down the river by boat and stop on shore for the night. As Andrei and Foma go into the dark woods to gather firewood, they see naked men and women run through the forest with torches. Andrei and Foma realize that a pagan village celebration of spring is underway. Foma retreats back to shore while Andrei goes deeper into the woods to witness the celebration. In the woods he stumbles onto a couple making love. As he watches them he is attacked by several villagers, dragged to a hut and tied up. Marfa, a woman in the hut, unties Andrei and tempts him by kissing him. Andrei returns to his fellows only in the morning. As they get into their boats to leave the Monks see Guards chasing the villagers. Marfa escapes the Guards and swims past the boat with the monks, on her way to the other shore.

[A group of men by the river bank, a wooden boat with some monks floats by]

Monk1: Sergei – give it here

Monk2: In a minute – make a fire in the meantime

Andrei: Foma – what are you up to over there – lets go gather some firewood.

Monk2: Meanwhile Peter has not seen either the Anunciation or the St. Dimitry Cathedrals.

M3: No worries, he’ll scamper onto the scaffolding, wave the brush hither and thither – he’ll figure out what’s what..

Sergei: Foma – where are you?

Foma: We won’t make it

Andrei: No matter – we’ll be there tomorrow.

Foma: No way – adorn a cathedral before the frost comes! June is almost here. What do you think Andrei?

  • What’s with you – you hear me?

A: Wait – do you hear that?

F: The nightingales.

A: And nothing else?

  • See that

[A pagan festival in the darkness of the forest; naked men and women running]

F: Let’s go

A: What is that?

F: Let’s go

[Unintelligible whispering heard in the forest]

A: they are practicing witchcraft

F: Andrei! Andrei – where are you going?

[In the bushes a man and a woman; Andrei watches]

Man: Come here – come to me

Woman: Wait – wait a minute

M: What’s with you?

W: My sweet one…

M: Move your hand

  • Just calm down

W: Oh – there is an anthill here

M: What anthill?

  • Who is this?

W: I don’t know

M: Lets get out of here…

[Andrei is attacked by a group of Men]

Man’s voice1: Hopa!

Man’s voice2: Meanwhile I see – looks like a black crawler

Man’s voice3: These God’s servants must know everything

Andrei: What are you doing – let me go!

M1: When morning comes we’ll release you, only we’ll tie up a boulder round your neck, to help you get to your destination faster

M3: What! Where are you off to!

A: Fire will rain down from the skies and burn all of you. You will bring on the last judgment!

M2: Hold on

M1: We’ll put you up onto these crossing beams here

M3: Just so – in the likeness of Jesus Christ.

A: What are you doing men? Good men – I cannot be like this! What are you doing – this is a sin! Fix me up any other way – even upside down. Men – Brothers!

M1: let him hang

M2: Just so – let him spend the night like this before he ascends

M3: He won’t go anywhere

M1: Who is that?

M2: Marfa

[Marfa and Andrei in the hut]

Marfa: Why did you ask to be put upside down – it would have been even worse. And why did you abuse us – threatened to burn us in the fire

A: But it is sinful to run about naked like this, to do all sort of sin.

M: Why sin – tonight is such a night – everyone must love tonight. Is love really a sin?

A: What sort of love is this when they capture and bind me so?

M: How else – you might bring the guard – the monks. You will start trying to convert us to your faith by force. You think it's easy to live like this in fear?

A: This is why there is fear all around, for people either live entirely without love or with a shameful, bestial one, love for the body without the soul. Love should be brotherly.

M: Isn’t it all the same?

  • It’s love

A: What are you doing!

[Marfa kisses Andrei]

A: - Untie me

[Morning – Andrei comes up to the monks sitting around the fire]

Andrei: What are you looking at me for?

Foma: Where have you been?

Woman: Thank goodness…

[The Guards ride up]

G1: These?

G2: No way – these are travelers – can’t you see – they are monks!

[Around the fire]

Monk1: we have some onion there – eat some if you like

Foma: Where have you been?

A: The forest here is impassable – I’ve gotten all scratched up. But to the locals this is sweet – they are used to it. For men everything is from habit. I bet the old don’t even have to think anymore. For them the day rolls along from morning to night all as usual. But maybe not. Maybe to them it is pleasing the way the day stretches from morning to night without end.

[Andrei and Danila in a boat]

Danila: You couldn’t have come back a bit earlier

Andrei: No – I could not

D: Your sin, your conscience, your prayers…

[Voices in the background]

Man’s voice 1: Here – get her

Man’s voice 2: Get the woman

  • Hold on hold on hold on

Man’s voice 3: Why – what are you doing!

M1: Drag her over!

[Monks in the boat looking at the shore]

Sergei: What are they doing this to them for? Why are they tormenting them!

Woman: For this reason only - that they do not believe in a single God – do not honor him. Cursed pagans!

Andrei: Don’t look Sergei – you hear me – do not look – this is nothing for you to look at, you hear me!

Sergei: Let me go

Woman: No way

Sergei: Let me go I tell you.

Woman: You should not look.

[The Guard on shore]

Guard 1: Give him a good kick to calm him down.

Guard 2: He’s tired everyone out

Guard 3: Go on, go on - don’t be foolish!

Marfa: Let me go! Let me go!

  • Help me! Fedor!

G1: Whats with you - you can’t capture a woman!

G2: Oh come don’t be in such a hurry!

G3: Vasil’ hold on to her. Have you lost it!

Fedor: Run Marfa!

G1: Be quiet!

G2: Vasil’ – get her.

Fedor: Where are you going – she’ll drown herself!

  • Marfa!

  • Run, Marfa!

  • Swim on, Marfa – swim on!

Episode 4 - “The Last Judgment”11

Summer 1408





Church Saxton – brings a message for Andrei that the Patriarch is unhappy with Andrei’s lack of progress

Craftsmen – in town to decorate the residence hall of the Grand Prince

Mitaj – an extremely talented craftsman, stone and wood carver

Grand Prince – the most powerful of the local princes; engaged in an ongoing feud with his twin brother

Stepan – advisor to the Grand Prince, head of the Guard

Girl of 3 or 4 – little princess

Boy of 9 or 10 – young prince

A group of Andrei’s assistants are sitting around in a white washed church with scaffolding all around. The work has not yet began. The church sexton comes with a message for Andrei that the Patriarch is very unhappy with Andrei’s lack of progress. Meanwhile, Andrei is in a field with Danila. Danila is trying to persuade Andrei to begin painting the Last Judgment, as they were commissioned. Andrei refuses to paint the last judgment.

Man’s voice 1: Unintelligible

Man’s voice 2: Let me go get some…

Man’s voice 3: You’re only using up the materials – who needs this?

Sergei: Foma!

Foma: What do you want?

S: I’ll go take a dip?

F: No way! No way!

S: It’s hot

F: No way, it’s not hot – don’t lie.

M1: Maybe he is really hot – I’m hot

F: Of course - you are working while he is sitting around.

M2: Just let him go take a dip.

M4: No way – why spoil him – let him sit with everyone else.

M3: Oh you be quiet – you yourself sleep all day like a groundhog …come down only to fill your belly and relieve yourself.

M4: Why – have you found a job for me?

M3: You already found one for yourself – just the sort you like.

M4: So it is – and if everyone is sitting around let Serezhka sit around with us also.

M5: If you’d have let him go he would have been back by now.

M4: As if! If you only let him get in, he would sit in the water till he’d gone blue. He got it into his head that he is hot – so now he whines about it.

M5: When was he whining?

  • It's you who is whining nonstop

M2: It was I who said that it was hot – not Sergei. What are you bugging him for?

Foma: Enough – if you want to – go take a dip. Go! Well – go on, go on. You see…

Sexton Patrikei: Foma! Foma! Where is Andrei?

F: He’s gone

Sexton: He’s gone! Such business such business here! I just went over to our Archbishop – just now I enter – and such things are happening there! Noise, shouting, such hubbub! The archbishop is running around in his undershirt – the Archbishop! ‘I have no patience left’ he says. ‘None! That’s it!’ He is saying all this about you all – about you! - ‘Two full months’ he says - ‘two months all has been ready – and nothing is ready yet’. ‘They sit idle scratching themselves. They asked for such money and yet they sit idle and nothing is ready yet’.

-Did you really ask for a lot of money?

Foma: Oh come on

Sexton: ‘It's all the same to me Danila the Black or Andrei Rublev, all the same’ he says. ‘What is this – what is all this’ – such a face he made! ‘What is this?’ he says. ‘What is Andrei to me? What is Rublev to me? Only I need the cathedral adorned by fall!’ He sent a messenger – sent a messenger with a complaint to the Grand Prince – did you know this? Why have you really not started yet? You know – you go on otherwise you know…Where is Andrei?

Foma: Went away somewhere again.

Sexton: Maybe you can start without him? – Go on just start without him. Ha? Why are you laughing? Look how many of you there are! If he has not decided something – look at how many of you there are! One brain is good but two! Where is Andrei? What?

[Andrei and Danila in a field]

Danila: I can’t go on like this – you just tell me yes or no?

Andrei: What

Danila: Yes or no? In Moscow we had everything decided – all to the last detail planned out. The Grand Prince himself said it was all good…

A: Aha

D: So what part of it is not clear to you? Why have we been arguing for the last two months until we are sore? No – just you explain it to me – maybe I‘ve gotten old, lost my mind? The Last Judgment – go ahead and get to work. How can we leave this job – honest to goodness?

A: Maybe we really should just leave.

D: But how will you look people in the eye after this? I will burn up with shame! Look at what kind of time we are missing, it's warm! It's dry! We would have finished the cupola and the columns long ago. And how we could have adorned them – brightly, beautifully! To the right we could have painted the sinners in the molten tar so well – one would get gooseflesh. And I’ve thought up such a demon – smoke from his nostrils, and the eyes..!

A: But that’s not what it's all about – it's not about the smoke!

D: What is it about then?

A: I don’t know

D: And why do you avert your eyes?

A: I simply cannot! – I cannot paint all this – I am disgusted. Do you understand? I do not want to scare the people – please understand Danila.

D: What are you thinking – this is what the last judgment is all about! After all I did not make it all up.

A: I cannot – whatever you want to do Danila – I cannot!

D: So why did you keep quiet about this before? Why did you not say something in Moscow? – We should not have taken on the job then. It’s filthy.

A: I am as I am – I guess you could not build up cleanliness in me.

Craftsmen, the Grand Prince, Andrei are in the Grand Prince’s residence. Andrei is talking about his inability to paint the Last Judgment. The little princess runs in and interrupts him. One of the craftsmen is showing the Grand prince their completed work, as they have just completed the decoration of his halls. Andrei expresses his approval. Stepan, the head of the guards disapproves. The craftsmen refuse to make changes and decide to move on to their next commission in Zvenigorod, the residence of Grand Prince’s brother. As they are walking through the woods on the way to Zvenigorod, they are assailed by Stepan with the Grand Prince’s guards and have their eyes put out so that they cannot go on with their work. Back inside the Church, Andrei, Danila and assistants after learning about the fate of the craftsmen. Andrei is hysterical as he smudges and splatters paint onto a white washed wall. Danila asks Sergei to read the scriptures. Sergei’s reading is interrupted by a young girl, a holy fool, who seeing the desecrated wall begins to scream and weep. Sergei is asked to continue his reading. Andrei has an outburst and leaves the Church.

[Inside Andrei and assistants]

A: Kill me – I just don’t know what to paint.

D: What do you mean you don’t know? – We were commissioned ‘The Last Judgment’.

A: You see what the trouble is – I think it may be better not to paint the Last Judgment at all

D: How so?

A: You know – I want…I want nothing. Nothing – that is all.

Foma: That’s it I’m leaving you all. I’m not up for this kind of work. Thank you for your tenderness and your blows. I’ve managed to pick up something – but this is it, I’m going to go work. Who’s with me? Fine – stay, only do not complain later on.

[Andrei is silent his voice narrates behind the scene]

A: When I was a child – I talked like a child and thought like a child and reasoned like one. But when I became a man I left the things of infancy behind. Now we see as if through a glass darkly, by conjecture. Back then it was all face to face. Now I know things in part then I knew them fully just as I am known. And now all three are present, faith, hope and love. But love is the greatest of these. If I speak in human or angel-like tongues but I do not have love then I am ringing copper or sounding cymbal…If I have the gift of prophesy and know all the mysteries and have all faith such that I can even move mountains, but I do not have love then I am nothing. And if I give away all my possessions and even my body to be burnt, but I have no love, then there is no use in any of it! Love waits and gives sympathy. Love does not envy, love does not praise itself. Love is not proud, it is not rude, does not seek to covet, does not become irritated, does not think mean thoughts!...

[Andrei laughs]

Little princess: You can’t catch me

[Andrei speaks out loud]

A: …is not gladdened by facts but by eternal truth. It envelops all, believes in all, and hopes for all. Bears all. Love never stops. Even though the prophesies may end and all tongues grow silent.

Little princess: Not silent…

A: And all knowledge will become idle… for we know partially…

  • Well princess – is this a good thing?

Little Princess: It is..!

A: It is sinful to splatter milk about like this. What pranks! – well…

LP: Why is it sinful?

A: Because…

  • Alright now dry me up

LP: It will dry all by itself in a bit

A: Well – all right. Let’s go play by the river. Will you come with me? Let us go my sweet…

Little Prince: Let me go, let me go. You hear what I tell you? Let me go Stepan or I will send you to the stables to be whipped!

Grand Prince: And what do you think – you like it?

Andrei: I think that it can’t be better – airy and beautiful.

GP: Airy – take her away from here. The nannies have spoiled her so.

Craftsmen: I say don’t be timid. No one will build a more beautiful hall for you. And how could they adorn it so? And what about the wood-work? Only Mityaj can do such a thing – he chisels directly without marking first, just as the bird sings. Look – is it not just like a bird? Me – I can spend the night on a pile of hay – but you – you are the Grand Prince.

GP: Why – do you not like it?

Stepan: I will say this – all this should be re-done, the walls and the ceiling – it should be brighter, stronger.

Craftsman: I’m in this business for forty years…

Stepan: It’s not about the craftsmanship but about using the craftsmanship to glorify the Grand Prince.

GP: All right all right – go on.

Craftsmen: We will not change anything.

Craftsmen 2: It's time for us to move on. – We already have another job lined up. They are expecting us in Zvenigorod.

GP: Where?

C2: At your brothers – they have already brought the stone. Good stone – whiter than this one…

C1: …when your brother was here over Easter – we made the deal then. Do whatever you want he says – I will spare no expense. He put up a new tax, just so we build the best hall for him.

GP: Zvenigorod you say? Go on to Zvenigorod then. Stepan!

[Andrei, Sergei and the craftsmen outside]

Sergei: Here – I got it.

Craftsman 1: When I looked up at the Great Prince he froze all over.

Craftsmen 2: You mean when I mentioned Zvenigorod?

C1: Just so – he froze.

Danila: He is all worried that his brother will outdo him…

  • Who cut this

Mitiaj: I did

D: Why did you not set it into the wall?

M: Oh – it did not fit somehow.

D: Why – it’s a good one!

M: Yeah but it keeps crumbling. And I told the prince not to go cheap on the stone. He is probably sorry now that he learned about Zvenigorod. I would have cut out such wonders for him!

[Outside a man is sreaming]

Man’s voice: Hey you ass – hurry up!

Grand Prince: Where is Stepan? – Grishka, where did Stepan go off to?

Grishka: It seems he went to Zvenigorod with the guards.

GP: Oh – all right

Little Princess: Oh – I dirtied my hands – I dirtied them…

[In the forest]

Craftsmen 1: In Zvenigorod we will build a hall no worse than this one – the stone is better there.

Craftsmen 2: True it is better out there

Craftsmen 3: Look – a guard

C2: I wonder…

Horseman: Hold on here you elder…

[Horseman puts out the craftsmen’s eyes – all the other craftsmen are blinded also]


C2: Why!

Horseman 2: I will show you – you serpent

H1: Hey you ass – help him over there in the bushes!

  • Where is my whip?

C1: Mikola!

H1: Hey – has anyone seen my whip? I’ll be damned I’ve lost my whip. Hey you ass – have you seen my whip?

C1: Mikola! Mikola!

[Inside the church Andrei and his apprentices]

Andrei: Oh Lord!

[smears paint with his hands on white wall]

Danila: Serega

Sergei: What?

Danila: Read out the scriptures

Sergei: Where from

Danila: Wherever you like

Sergei: …be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you. But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonors his head. But every woman that prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. For…

Danila: Go on – read on…

Sergei: …For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God. Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her…

[Holy fool begins to cry loudly seeing the smears on the wall]

Danila: Well – why did you stop – read on

Sergei: But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering. But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God. Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. For first of all, when ye come together in the church…

Andrei: Danila – you hear – a holiday! A holiday! It’s a holiday and you say! What kind of sinners are they? What kind of a sinner is she? Even if she does not wear a headscarf? Some sinner you found! Well?

(to the holy fool)

Danila: All right, all right, don’t bother him. Let the God’s servant repent a bit.

Passion According to Andrei. Part II

Episode 5 – “The Raid”

Autumn 1408

Brother of the Grand Prince

Tatar Prince


Feofan the Greek

Twin Brother of the Grand Prince teams up with a Tatar Prince in a raid of Vladimir, the town of Grand Prince’s domain. Scenes of the sacking of the city follow. The Tatar Prince questions the Russian Prince about his relationship with his brother. The Russian prince explains that the Patriarch of the Orthodox Church has tried to make peace between the two brothers by summoning the two brothers, making them swear peace and kissing the cross. Interspersed among the scenes of the raid are flashbacks of the two brothers swearing an oath of peace.

Man’s voice: They are coming they are coming! Prince – the Tatars are coming! (Conversation in Tatar)

Tatar Prince: Heeey – Grand Prince (speaks in Russian with an accent)

Russian Prince: Heeey

TP: What a town you have here!

RP: It rained and there was some flooding. We have to go further – follow us. We were about to leave – we were expecting you yesterday.

TP: We came upon a small town – wanted to go around but I could not help myself. Forgive our lateness…

RP: It's no problem. Let’s go

further to the left

it's shallow here. Go on to the left!

TP: Alright!

  • Want to cheat me?

RP: No way. Vladimir is empty – you will see. The Grand Prince has left for Lithuania.

  • Further to the left there!

  • The town is beyond that wood there.

TP: I hear the Grand Prince has a son coming up – while you have your eye on the throne – ay?

RP: We’ll see about that!

TP: I see you really do want that throne – I understand

(a Tatar rider falls off the shallow ridge into the water)

RP: I told you further to the left – hold on…

TP: Come on Prince – do not fall behind!

-Your love for your brother is mighty

RP: Seems we are fated so…

TP: And when did you make peace last?

RP: I did not make peace – The Patriarch sent for us both, had us swear before God that we would live in peace and harmony.

TP: What did you say?

RP: The metropolitan sent for us to kiss the cross…

TP: When?

RP: Last winter

TP: Wow – Vladimir is a beauty – don’t you think Prince? – Perhaps a bit small for you eh?

RP: Don’t lag behind – stand by

TP: Don’t lag behind!

  • Well

  • Stand by

  • Charge – on the offensive

  • Go on!

Young man: Tatars! Run! Tatars – run everybody!

Old Woman: (a cow is on fire in the stable) Good people! What is happening! Oh my sweetheart! Oh goodness!

[Scenes of Vladimir being sacked]

[Flashback to brotherly reconciliation]

Man’s voice: The grand prince is coming

Prince: Aha – the brother is here.

[Scenes of Vladimir being sacked]

Man’s Voice1: Foma – hold on to him! Well get him…

Foma: Brothers – what are you doing? You are Russians – and I am too…

Guard1: I’ll show you, you Vladimir breed…

Foma: Brothers!

Man’s voice: Get him – hold on to him!

  • Oh you ass! Run to the other side. Are deaf? Go around


[Russian and Tatar princes]

Russian Prince: Where are we – there is nobody here!

Tatar Prince: What?

RP: Everyone scattered

TP: Your bitch is all grown up now – does not remember me eh?

RP: Vas’ka – take the dog away

[A woman is dragged by the Tatars]

Woman: Sweetie, darling, let me go. Let me go! Let go!

Man’s voice: Don’t be scared beautiful. I will show you how Tatars love.

[Townspeople locked in a church; soldiers are using a large beam to break the doors open]

Man’s voice: Oh – bastards! – I’ll be damned!

Tatar Prince: Well Prince – aren’t you sorry about the Church?

[Singing inside the church]

Lord have mercy on the sinners – Lord have mercy! Lord save us! Dear Lord…!

[Russian and Tatar prince inside the Church]

Tatar Prince: Listen prince who is this peasant woman lying here?

Russian Prince: She is not a peasant woman – she is Virgin Mary. It's the birth of Christ.

TP: And who is this in the box?

RP: Christ – her son.

TP: How can she be a Virgin if she has a son?

  • Well – whatever – all things are not as they should be with you in Russia.

It's interesting.

[Church sexton is being tortured]

Man’s voice: Bind his feet – tighter

Man’s voice 2: Tell us the truth – dog! Tell us!

Sexton: Hold on hold on – I have not seen the gold. Honest to goodness I have not seen it.

M1: give it to him

Sexton: Aaa! – Oh pain – Oh Mother of God – I’m burning.

  • What pity it is – I do not know where the gold is. I don’t know. It was probably all looted. Your own Tatars probably took it. You’re all thieves. You’re all – you should have asked your own. You should ask your own – eh?

Russian Prince: Did he tell?

Tatar Prince: No – he has not told the truth yet.

Russian Prince: Still speaking..

Sexton: Don’t leave – of course I’ll tell. Look at how an innocent Russian man of true faith12 is being tortured by these thieves. Take a look – Judas – you Tatar mug!

RP: You are lying – I’m a Russian

CW: I recognized you – you look just like your brother. I know you! You sold Russ! I know you! Oh that hurts! Hurts! I won't tell…

M2: of course you will

Sexton: Oh that hurts!

  • Remember my word – there will be no Tatar trace upon the Russian land. I swear before the Lord. There will be no trace. I would kiss a cross on it. The cross – let me have the cross.

M1: We’ll show you a cross

Sexton: I have sins – the Lord will forgive us – He is gracious. He will forgive.

  • Lord is it not true that You will forgive me? – but you all – you will be boiled in molten tar.

  • and when you leave we will build everything up again… while you will let out your guts in the burning chasm…

  • Oh lord what are you… Why!

In the course of the raid, Andrei kills a soldier who is trying to rape the young holy fool. After the raid, Andrei, guilty and distraught, is speaking with the apparition of Feofan the Greek who has died. Andrei confesses his murder to Feofan and takes on a vow of silence to atone for his murder.

[Andrei and the Holy Fool in a sacked Church with corpses all around]

Andrei: Help me

  • Feofan – but you died. I wanted to see you so…

Feofan the Greek: Even if you did not want me – I would have come anyway.

Andrei: I dreamt of you – as if you are hanging out of a window upside down, and looking in and wagging your finger at me. And I am lying across the saddle on a horse, and two guardsmen are turning my head around. And you look on and tap on the window pane with your finger. And I yell to you…

Feofan: You yell…

A: Listen – What is happening here? They murder and rape. They strip the Churches along with the Tatars. You told me so – only I am worse off then you are now. You are dead now while I am…

F: Dead – but what of it?

A: That’s not what I’m talking about but that I’ve lived half my life in blindness – how is it…

  • It was for them – for the people that I worked day and night. These are not people – eh? You spoke the truth then. The truth…

FG: Who cares what I said then.

  • You are wrong now and I was wrong then.

A: Don’t we have one faith, one land, one blood? One Tatar was even smiling – like so

  • kept screaming that we would cut each-other’s throats even without them. And what shame! They killed everyone! Even my Serega. I found him on such a day – my Serega. Only she is left.

FG: All right it's time for me to go…

A: Wait – I beg you don’t leave. Are you not happy with me – are you bored13?

  • All right, all right I’ll stop. Let’s sit down, talk for a bit. I will tell you…

FG: I know everything anyway

A: You know – I will never paint again…

FG: Why so?

A: Nobody needs it. That’s all.

FG: Who cares that they burned the Iconostasis14, - you know how much of my work they’ve burned, in Pskov, and in Novgorod and in Galichi – you are taking a great sin onto yourself.

A: But I have not told you the most important thing

  • I killed a man

  • A Russian

  • When I saw that he was dragging her…take a look – look at her. I don’t remember how it happened - only I caught up to him and, well, I could not…

FG: For our sins evil took on human shape. In raising a hand against evil you raise a hand against the human flesh. God will forgive you – only you must not forgive yourself. So you should live between the sublime absolution and self-abasement. And your sin… how does it go in your scriptures…- learn to do good, seek truth, deliver the oppressed, and protect the meek. Then you will come and we will judge – said the lord. If your sins will be scarlet – I will wash them white like the snow.

  • Ha – still remember – did not lose it! Perhaps it will be lighter for you also.

A: I know that God is gracious, He will forgive. I will take on the vow of silence before God – I will be silent. I have nothing to say to people anymore. What do you think?

FG: I have no right to give you advice. I can not…

A: Why – didn’t you get into Heaven?

FG: Lord – I will only say that it is not as you all think it is over there.

A: Oh Russ Russ – she suffers all – she will endure all. Will it be long like this still? Eh – Feofan?

F: I don’t know – forever probably

  • Only this is all beautiful

A: It's snowing

  • There is nothing more terrible when it snows inside a church.


Episode 6 – “Love”

Winter 1412



Father Superior


Inside the Trinity Monastery monks discuss famine. Kiril returns to the monastery and is recognized. Father Superior allows him to stay after some persuading. Outside, Tatars are throwing raw horsemeat for the dogs that fight over it. The holy fool picks up one of the pieces and eats it. The Tatars begin to make fun of her. Andrei tries to take her away but she refuses to go, amused by the Tatars. The Tatars take the holy fool away.

[Inside the monastery]

Monk 1: The apples are all spoiled

Monk 2: I’ve been around for some time now, and I’ve never seen such famine

Old woman: We are slowly dying out – lord have mercy on us.

M2: Here

Monk 3: Here comes Mefodi – he’s brought someone in again

  • You should not be put on gate duty Mefodi. You will get the whole neighborhood assembled for the repast.

Mefodi: Take a seat God’s servant

Kiril: God bless you

M2: …for the repast…

M3: No matter how many you assemble – you will never feed all the hungry.

M2: There is no one left in the neighborhood – all the villages are deserted. – the Harkovtsy have all scattered, and the Semenovtsy seem to be running off somewhere.

Old woman: That’s right – ran off…

M4: there is no one left in Semenovka – we passed it in the morning

Kiril: It’s even worse in Vladimir. It’s the third year of famine there – it took care of everyone. Whoever lives catches rats and mice.

M4: Why are you whispering?

Kiril: I’m not whispering – I caught a cold. I spent the night in the lake.

M4: How so?

K: The wolves took to me – followed me all over. I came into the lake to escape from them – stood there till dawn. So I stood there until the sun came up. Came out – I was all frozen up. It’s the second week now that I cannot shake it – still shivering.

M4: So you are from Vladimir?

K: Yes – I lived there

M3: Here is another one from Vladimir…

  • Andrei Rublev, perhaps you’ve heard of him

M2: He has sinned – he’s repenting now.

M3: He brought a holy fool with him from Vladimir, a deaf mute. So they stay silent together.

M1: She is a holy fool in deed – but she knows where the soup is thickest.

W: He brought her for his own shame – so as to keep his sin in front of him always.

M4: Here is holiness

K: And what about Andrei’s workshop?

M4: It fell apart, some got killed by the Tatars, others scattered in different directions.

K: And Danila – is he alive?

M4: They say different things, either that he went up north or that he died

K: So he abandoned his craft entirely?

M4: Are you Kiril?

  • Kiril?

M1: Father Superior – Kiril has come back!

K: Father Superior take the Lords Servant under your wing – your awkward prodigal Kiril

Father Superior: When you were leaving you did not ask leave – and now you are back? Did not like it out in the world? No way brother – you are joking – I won’t take you back.

K: Oh Lord why am I punished so.

FS: Are you asking to return into the den of Thieves? Back to the traders and money lenders? You think that just ‘cause I’m old I have forgotten all? Go back to where you came from – there is no place for you here.

K: Do not drive me out oh Lord, for God’s sake. There is no truth in the world, the devil muddled me. I cannot sin anymore day in and day out, and one cannot do without it, out in the world. Sin and vileness are everywhere. Accept oh Father my repentance. I will be at your feet night and day.

FS: You were good at talking even then – you will not get my pity.

K: Oh Father, Father – if you only knew how much sorrow I have endured, how much evil I have suffered – you would have forgiven me. But I will never forgive myself!

FS: You are not guilty before me but before God our Lord. You can stay. And as penance you will write out the Holy Scriptures fifteen times. You can take the cell of the deceased father Nikadim.

K: Thank Goodness! Thank you.

A Midget: Oh how wonderful this is – how grand. Thank you father dear – thank you!

[Outside - Tatars and the holy fool]

Tatar1: Ehey – it's not good to eat unclean meat. (Tatars speaking with an accent)

Monk1: Serafim!

Serafim: What is this?

Monk1: Brothers what is happening here – I will go tell Father Superior.

Tatar1: Good Russian – eating horsemeat.

  • Come with me to the Arda – will be my wife

  • Me have seven wives – but no Russian wife

  • You will eat horsemeat every day; will drink kumis15, wear money in your hair – eh?

  • Well?

[Andrei tries to drag the fool away – she resists]

  • Tatar husband can not have a dirty Russian wife.

[Tatar soldier drapes a mantle over the holy fool’s shoulders]

Tatar2: Girl – come on with us – come on.

T1: Come on, come on – up.

[Tatars ride away with the Holy Fool]

[Kiril and Andrei]

Kiril: Andrei – Andrei you hear me. Do you really not recognize me? Don’t despair – they will drive her around and let her go. They would not dare hurt a holy fool. Such sin!

Episode 7 – “The Bell”

Spring – Summer – Fall – Winter – Spring

1423 - 1424

Boriska – boy of 15 – 16; son of bell maker who takes on a bell casting project

Andreika – boy of 12 – 13; Boriska’s assistant

Bell casters and various craftsmen


Skamaroh – the skamaroh of episode 1 reappears


Mesangers of the Grand Prince are looking for someone to cast a bell for the new Church. Famine and the Plague have killed off much of the local population and they are forced to commission a son of a bell maker, Boriska, who claims to know his father’s casting secret. Scenes of Boriska’s tyrannical oversight of the project follow. Andrei is occasionally shown at the construction site, observing Boriska. A skamaroh is shown entertaining the crowd near the construction site. He recognizes Andrei and claims that Andrei ‘sold’ him to the guards many years ago. Kiril intervenes claiming Andrei’s innocence. Kiril confesses his envy to Andrei and urges him to paint and not waist his talent. The bell is completed and hoisted in front of a large crowd, the Grand Prince and Italian ambassadors. Andrei comforts Boriska and suggests that they work together in the future.

[Two horsemen ride up to a hut]

Man’s voice1: Is this the house of Nikola the Bell maker? Eh?

Young Man: yeah

M1: Is he your father?

YM: yeah

M1: Would you call him

YM: He’s not here

M1: Where is he?

YM: He’s dead.

M1: You hear this – you ass?

YM: The plague took care of everyone.

  • My mother and sister and my father too.

M1: Is Gavrila the caster’s hut nearby?

YM: Gavrila? – Gavrila died also. Kasyan the craftsman is also gone. And Ivashka was taken away by the Tatars last year. Only Fedor is left – go to him, his is the fifth courtyard. But you should hurry lest he die also. Cause he’s been laying around grumbling too. Doesn’t even open his eyes anymore – almost gone.

M1: That’s it – I can’t do this anymore. Where are we to look now? We should just go home.

M2: Hey hey hey hey now – get up! Look at him sprawled out….go home! Look at what we’ve come to – no one to cast a bell anymore.

YM: take me with you – Eh? (the Young man speaks with a stutter)

  • Let me make the bell for you.

M1: What are you talking about lad – have you lost it?

YM: Why don’t you take me to the Grand Prince?

  • No really I will do a great job for you. In any case you won’t find anyone better than I – everyone else is dead. You won’t find better than I!

M1: Go on – get out of here!

YM: Fine – your loss. I know the bell casting secret – I know it but won’t tell.

M2: What did you say?

YM: I know a secret! My father knew the secret of copper for bell casting. When he was dying he passed it on to me. Nobody – not a single other person knows it – only I know it! Only I! My father died and the whole secret…

M1: Well – should we take this God’s servant?

M2: What secret – what is he talking about?

M1: You want the Grand Prince to finish us off?

M2: He’s got to be lying about the secret!

M1: If he is lying – he’s the worse off for it

  • What’s your name?

YM: Boriska

M1: come on over here…eh?

YM: What?

M1: Climb up..

YM: What about the hut?

M1: stay!

M3: Well – did you break him in?

[Boriska and others walking through the countryside]

Man’s voice1: Come on, come on!

Man’s Voice2: Hurry up.

Man’s Voice3: Where are we going? What are we looking for?

Boriska: Well, should we dig here?

M1: We could do it here, but it would have been easier to do it closer to the bell tower, otherwise such heavy thing will have to be dragged so far…

Boriska: Why – can we not do it here?

M1: Sure we can but…

B: well –than well dig here

  • Andreika!

A: Yeah

B: Start marking!

  • Lets get to work?

M2: You hear this

  • But we are not earth diggers, we are casters. Why should we dig in the earth?

B: You know what my father told me before his death? - he said the casters should dig the pit themselves. Indeed! I only understand this now, in my old age. He said this and died. Well?

M2: I don’t know what it is that Nikola said but only I will not dig any soil.

  • When you need us let us know.

B: Fine – I’ll dig instead of you.

[Boriska looking for clay with the craftsmen]

B: Well – have you found it?

Man’s voice1: Why should we look for it – here it is.

B: here you say?

  • No way – this is all wrong, this is the wrong kind of clay.

M1: Everyone gets it from here.

B: They are fools

M2: This is good clay

B: Andreika – isn’t this clay bad?

A: Yeah – it's no good.

B: You see – let’s go.

  • Well look until we find it.

[Boriska and Stepan in the countryside]

Boriska: Listen Stepan – maybe this is all to no end?

Stepan: What do you mean to no end – look at what great clay we have found, look carefully. Look at how much work we’ve put into it – found a new spot – and you…! You hear me Boris?

Boriska: But it's all wrong – all wrong! You understand?

S: Here you are with the same ole – August is almost over - and we have not even found the clay yet. Think of yourself – I’m only sorry for you.

B: Alright, alright – I’ve managed thus far without your pity.

S: Let’s go Boris – let us go, dear.

B: But I cannot – I know - I know very well that the clay is all wrong!

S: So what sort of clay is the right sort?

B: I know what sort!

S: Eh!

B: Fine, I don’t need people like you – you hear me? Who cares – we’ll do it all without you!

[Boriska wondering in the rain]

Boriska: Andreika – Semen! I’ve found it! Uncle Fedor – I’ve found it! Claaaay! Uncle Semen! Stepan! Claaaay! There is clay here – Stepan! Claaaay! I’ve found the clay! Andreika – Andreika! Well – where are you all – heeeeey! Andreika!

[At the construction site]

Man’s Voice1: Boris! Boriska!

B: What do you want?

M1: They are breaking the soil

B: I’m coming

M1: What? What did you say?

B: I’m coming – where is Nikolai?

M1: Nikolai went to get the logs in the morning.

B: What do you mean – the logs should have been here already!

M1: He’ll be back by evening

B: What are you talking about – in the evening! What am I going to use now to reinforce?

M1: But he left in the morning –

B: get out of here with your Nikolai – he’s an idiot!

  • And you – why are you standing there? Get to work! Work!

M2: The merchants won’t settle…

B: What do you mean they won’t settle?

M2: They are asking for three times more – they say that this type of rope is still cheap…

B: So buy it – what can we do?

M2: For such a price?

B: Buy it I tell you!

M2: But the Grand Prince will kill you! – we will ruin him!

B: I don’t care anymore – buy it!

[Construction site Boriska and workers]

Man’s voice1: Out of the way!

B: Get out of here father – they’ll kill you around here – they’ll maim you.

  • Don’t dig in without me!

Man’s voice2: Boriiiis!

B: In a minute…

  • What is it?

Man’s voice3: The mold won’t hold up here – we need to make another layer.

B: What other layer – we should have covered it all with clay long ago! And you haven’t even finished the shell yet – what’s with you!

M3: We have to reinforce it some more – but we are all out of twigs.

B: no matter – we will not be reinforcing – fill it!

  • To begin the casting tonight…

M4: Is he joking or what?

  • If we don’t reinforce the mould properly it won’t hold up the copper!

  • It will crack and all is lost then…

B: And what if it snows again tomorrow? If we do not begin the work by then – is all not lost? It is I who will be whipped to death then – not you!

M5: But the mold won’t hold out here!

B: Fill in the mould – do you hear me!?

M5: I will not do this!

B: Fine don’t do it. You can go on and get out of here. Andreika – go ahead start filling it!

M5: He won’t do it either.

B: Will you fill the mould?

M5: But it won’t hold the copper!

A: We need to reinforce it…

B: Will you do what I tell you? Who’s in charge here?

A: We need another layer…

B: Fedor! Fedor!

F: Here I am

B: Give this one a whipping – not that one – this one. He refuses to work. – he does not follow my orders. I’ll show you who’s in charge here!

M6: This is not how your father treated us.

B: Remembered my father did you? So he’ll be whipped in the name of my father. – Go on fill it!

M7: Boris! Boriska!

B: Dig in without me!

M7: We are waiting!

B: Go on – dig in without me!

M8: Lay down - get a bit of sleep.

(to Andrei)

B: What are you looking at? – well what? – have you swallowed your tongue or gone deaf? What – feel sorry for him? Go on; go ahead comfort him – that’s what your monkishness is for. – Oh Mother of God…

[Construction site]

M1: I simply don’t understand how the Grand Prince entrusted him with all this. I just can’t imagine.

[Construction site]

M1: Boriska – you hear me Boriska – wake up!

B: What?

M2: I already started casting…

B: What? Why did you start without me – I told you to wake me. I know when to start.

M2: Fedor, Fedor – the messenger from the Grand Prince has come – they are asking for you.

[Casting begins]

B: Oh wow! Oh my – what heat!

[Boriska, Messenger and Craftsman]

Messenger: Enough – should be enough!

B: It's not much – not much silver here. Tell the Grand Prince not to go cheap – he has not sent enough silver.

Messenger: The Grand Prince never cheapens out!

B: I don’t know – but we need another twenty pounds worth…

Craftsman: Who cares – twenty pounds more or twenty pounds less?

B: And who knows the secret of bell copper? Me – or is it you perhaps? – Tell the Grand Prince not to cheap out – we need another twenty pounds.

Craftsmen2: What are you doing?

B: Now I can shake out as much silver as I like from the Great One! And the bell might not ring regardless!

Messenger: You just watch out…

[Skomoroh with a crowd gathered around him; recognizes and attacks Andrei]

Skomoroh: I know him! Get him! Everyone – get him!

Kiril: Why do you attack all of a sudden? You’re mistaken!

Skomoroh: I’m not…I know him well! Such a pretty and smooth one. Let me go! Because of him I spent ten years in a pit! They’ve cut off half my tongue – look! Let go! Let go! Let go! Get him! I’ll kill him!

Kiril: Brothers he is innocent – he never betrayed anyone, here is the sacred cross for you – he did not!

S: Get away! Get away!

K: Lord where is such punishment coming from! (gets on his knees before the skomoroh)

  • Abuse me – don’t touch him.

S: Get up – get up! Get up already!

  • You’re a heavy one! The Grand prince’s fool just died – they are summoning me to be a fool. But I thought – What do I need the Grand Prince for – I would rather go be a joiner! But I know this one! It’s true – it was he who sold me out! Oh – come on – give me some drink! Eh – what else will come…

[Construction site]

Man’s voice1: Come on – reinforce the sample tighter.

Man’s voice 2: Hey Andreika – move out of the way.

B: Well – what are you standing around for?

  • Go to…

  • Work!

  • Work on!

  • Quickly, Quickly!

M1: Should we throw in more into the second kiln?

B: Go on, throw it in throw in – go on!

  • Pump it, pump it!

M2: Boris! Where is Boriska?

M3: Boris!

B: Yes!

M3: The second kiln is now ready!

B: Well?

M4: Go on, go on – everyone is all set…

  • Well open it up!

M1: Well – everything is ready – should we begin?

B: Go on!

M1: Go on!

B: Fill it! Fill it!

M2: It's going! Boriska – it's going!

B: Lord assist us and carry us through…

[Construction site; cleaning off the bell]

Man’s voice 1: Well – I’m holding on to it

Man’s voice 2: Go on – help out.

Man’s voice 3: Come over here and help.

Man’s voice 4: Just so – just so.

B: Andreika!

M1: What a day we’ll have tomorrow! It would be nice to get some sleep now!

M2: Boris – Boriska – should we go on?

B: Hold on, hold on – here I am…

[Kiril and Andrei]

Kiril: So here is how it is Andrei…I’ve been thinking here and decided to tell you. I envied you -you know I did. The envy gnawed at me so – such horror! Everything within me smoldered with poison. I could not stand it anymore – so I left. It was because of you that I left – honest to goodness because of you! But when I returned and heard that you quit painting I calmed down – I felt easier somehow. And then I forgot about it entirely. If only I can finish rewriting the scriptures before I die. I’ve been reprimanded harshly – not an easy task to assign in old age. At this time – it seems I will not make it. But why am I repenting – I have no business repenting before you – you are yourself a great sinner – even worse than I. It's true – you are worse! What am I - an insignificant worm, - I am useless. But you - did you receive your talent from God for some holy deed of yours? What is your desert? Oh Lord! This is not at all what I mean! I know that Nikon has sent three messengers for you, begged you to return to adorn The Trinity. And you sent them all away – didn’t even speak to them. I’ll tell you the truth – I won’t lie. At that time in my dirty soul, there in the very depths, a tiny, scrawny little joy quivered. And now – life is ending, the soul is asking for respite. To Nikon your life is nothing – he does not care. He is only calling you so as to strengthen and glorify his power with your talent. Only forget that Nikon – listen to me – listen. Go to the Trinity, and paint and paint and paint. Go on – don’t take this sin onto your soul. It is a terrible sin to reject the spark of God. If Feofan were alive he would have told you the same thing. You think not? Take a look at me – look at me, a talentless one. What do you think – why did I return? For the sake of a crust of bread – so as to finish my days in peace… I will die and nothing will remain of me. I know I will die soon and you don’t have much time left either. Do you want to take your talent into the grave with you? Eh? Andrei? Why are you silent – at least say one word! The skamaroh…it was I …I! Curse me but do not be silent! Curse me!

[Construction site; the raising of the bell]

Man’s voice1: Well – what do you think?

Boriska: What? – yeah…

M1: Well then lets go – go on. Everyone – scatter!

M2: Tighten it now.

M3: And now loosen?

M1: Well – what have you here? What’s going on?

M2: All right – everything is ready.

M1: All right, go on faster – raise it.

  • Come on over – don’t tangle it!

  • Go on swing…

Boriska: Wha?

M1: Swing your arm.

Boriska: Go! (swings his arm)

[Voices in the crowd]

M1: Who is this?

M2: The Grand Prince

M3: And foreigners with him.

Official: The Grand Prince is coming with a foreign Ambassador. Is everything ready?

M1: Yes

Official: You just wait - damn you!

[Priest with a procession]

May this bell be blessed and sanctified with the sprinkling of this holy water in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost. Amen. May this bell be blessed and sanctified with the sprinkling of this holy water in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost. Amen.

May this bell be blessed and sanctified with the sprinkling of this holy water in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost. Amen. May this bell be blessed and sanctified with the sprinkling of this holy water in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost. Amen.

[Grand Prince with the Ambassadors and interpreter]

Grand Prince: Look at the sort that oversees everything here for me. (at Boriska)

Interpreter to Ambassadors in Italian: Look what kind of peopIe are[br]overseeing here.

Man’s voice1: Where are you going – go on go on (to Boriska)

Guard: Go on, go on blockhead.

M2: Well – should I help or will you toll it yourself?

(Conversation among the Italians presented in Russian through subtitles in the 1999 Criterion Collection DVD)

What do you think will come out of all this travesty?

What do you think?

In my opinion, nothing good will come out of this.

Excuse me, Your Excellency, but I think you are being deceived by appearances.

Look at all of this!

What do you think of this dumb bell, this awkward scaffold?

I would sum it up and say this bell will not ring.

In fact, it can't ring.

Does Your Excellency wish to make a wager?

I think you underestimate the situation these...

people are in.

Besides, they were the ones that built it.

That may be true, but I wouldn't venture to call that thing a bell.

Excellency, they fully understand...

That the prince will behead them if it doesn't ring.

Judging from the face of that youth one could say that he is aware of the circumstances.

Don't you think so?


Have you heard that the Grand prince beheaded his brother?

It seems they were twins.

Look at that marvelous girl!My God!

My friend, that girl is not more than thirteen years old.

That doesn't make her less attractive.

Sometimes these girls are women at thirteen.

What's the matter with you, Your Excellency?

(the bell is being rocked - the bell rings)

[Boriska is shaking on the Ground; Andrei sitting down beside him]

Man’s Voice1: Get on up…

Andrei: All right, all right, thats enough – enough…

Boriska: My father, old serpent – he never passed on the secret. He died and never passed it on – took it into the grave. That torn rag!

Andrei: And you see how everything turned out – all right, it's all right. So we will go together, you will cast bells and I will paint icons. We will go to the Trinity – well go together. What a holiday for the people – what joy you’ve given and you’re crying. It's all right – it's ok, that’s enough, enough. All right, all right. All right – that’s enough, enough. All right all right. That’s fine, that’s fine, that’s enough, enough, enough.

1 The Guard was assembled and supported by a local prince and kept ‘order’ in accordance with the wishes of the prince as well as the loosely held precepts of the Church. Skomorohi were persecuted by the Church on account of their loose morals and their agitation of the public.

2 Sud – the same word is used in Russian for court trial as well as for the notion of passing judgment of any sort on another person, ultimately going back to the notion of the Last Judgment. Thus no distinction is made between legal and moral judgment.

3 Strah – there same word is used in Russian to express both the notion of casual fear as well as the more elevated awe. ‘Fear’ is an important notion to the work of Andrei Rublev. His main artistic innovation was said to be the absence of fear in the eyes of the holy figures he painted. Instead, they were said to have a more subtle gaze. This change in tendency is interpreted as a manifestation of the Renaissance in Old Russ.

4 Ecclesiasties 1:18

5 Pisat’ – ‘to write’; the same word is used in Russian for writing text as well as for painting. The ambiguity of this notion is a central concept in the film. While Kiril would like to ‘write’ icons and be truly creative, he is punished for his pride by being forced to ‘write’ out the scriptures fifteen times, copying the same text again and again.

6 Sueta – means both ‘vanity’ and ‘hustle and bustle’. Thus, the notion that all the acts of daily life, its ‘hustle and bustle’ are vain is reinforced by the single word.

7 Proschaj – ‘good bye’, literally ‘forgive’. Other, less dramatic parting phrases exist, however, this one is used through most of the film. The notion of forgiveness here is meant to contrast the theme of judgment, important throughout the film.

8 Prichistica - ‘to give confession’; has a literal meaning of ‘to become clean’ which is immediately audible to the Russian ear.

9 Souls – peasants ‘owned’ by a lord

10 Prichestica – receive communion, literally to become purified.

11 Strashnyj Sud - the last Judgment literally the ‘terrifying judgment’. The notion of fear and the notion of judgment as they were separately brought up earlier in the film are combined. See notes 3 and 4.

12 Pravoslavnyj – ‘Orthodox’, literally of true faith.

13 Skuchno – ‘bored’ literally saddened as well as bored

14 A large ‘frame’ with icons at the front of an Orthodox Church.

15 A fermented dairy product of the people of central Asian steppes.

 end block

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