Screenwriter and director Andrei Zvyagintsev is one of the most respected filmmakers working in Russia today. His highly symbolic style and use of deeply spiritual imagery has seen him heralded as the cinematic heir to Soviet auteur Andrei Tarkovsky, while his biting social critiques have resulted in him falling out of favour with Russia’s political elite. Nevertheless, since the release of his debut feature The Return (2003), his films are eagerly anticipated on the film circuit and met with domestic and international acclaim. His cinematic endeavours tend to centre around simple, though often bleak, plot lines, allowing for deep psychological and metaphysical explorations of familial and societal relationships. His highly aesthetic style is firmly established, a result of working with his long-term cinematographer Mikhail Krichman. Ultimately, it is the rich visual language apparent across his repertoire that allows for these harrowing tales to transcend into modern-day fables.