In the Soviet Union, however, Tarkovsky was a persona non grata. Sniffing out his outsider inclinations, the authorities did everything they could to reject his works, excommunicate and annihilate him. He respected his home country, accepting it with all its drawbacks of full-fledged socialism, with its idiocies, cruelty, hypocrisy and hostility. He wanted to be “understood by his own country”, embraced and rewarded by it. However, being far from political and social engagement, lacking an understanding of the backstage workings of the world of cinema, Tarkovsky suffered failure after failure.
The documentary novel Andrei Tarkovsky: A Life on the Cross provides a unique insight into the life of the famous film director and a man whose life was by no means free of unedifying behaviour and errors of judgement. Accompanied with profound comments on history and cinema, A Life on the Cross offers an opportunity to experience Tarkovsky when he was modelling his masterpieces, seeking resolutions to his artistic dilemmas and overcoming obstacles put out by the Soviet regime. Lyudmila Boyadzhieva sets out to reveal his innate talent, and explain why the cost of such talent can sometimes be life itself.
Lyudmila Boyadzhieva is an outstanding Russian documentary writer. Her novels, novellas and short stories first began appearing in print nearly two decades ago under various pen names. Her works are a synthesis of various genres, striking combinations of suspense, adventure and love stories. Boyadzhieva’