Stage Russia: The Black Monk (2019)

PG / Russian / Theatre / Play / 120 min

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Based on Anton Chekhov’s tragedic short story of a philosophy student’s psychological dalliance with the mythical Black Monk legend. Kama Ginkas’ astounding reimagination is a glorious tribute to the Chekhovian tension between the beauty of life and the tragedy of how it is lived; brought to stage by a stunning cast and contemporary set design.

The story tells the the tale of philosophy student Andrey Vasil'ich Kovrin. On the verge of a nervous breakdown, Kovrin decides to visit his childhood friend Tanya Pesotsky at the estate of her father. As he and Tanya develop a relationship and eventually marry, a black monk of legend begins appearing to Kovrin in visions. Though these hallucinations at first imbue the young man with joy and energy, they eventually lead to his ruin.

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