Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Nostalgia (1983)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Nostalgia (1983, Soviet Union/It.) (aka Nostalghia)

In visionary Soviet film-maker Andrei Tarkovsky's meditative drama:

  • the character of village lunatic and doomsday mystic Domenico (Erland Josephson) who was attempting to cross through the waters of the ruins of a mineral pool (in an ancient spa town in Tuscany) with a lit candle (without extinguishing it), with his belief that it was necessary in order to save his family and mankind from the end of the world
  • the death of Domenico, who immolated himself in the town square to the accompaniment of Beethoven's 'Ode to Joy' (the fourth movement) in the Ninth Symphony
  • the "candle in an empty pool" sequence - the eventual third attempt (after two failed attempts) of befriended Russian writer Andrei Gorchakov (Oleg Yankovsky) to fulfill his promise to Domenico - to walk across the 16th century mineral pool with a lit candle (without extinguishing it) - although when he approached the mineral bath pool, he discovered that the water had been drained; his walk finally succeeded; he placed his candle on a ledge at the far end - and then collapsed (off-screen) with all his energy expended
Success - "Candle in an Empty Pool"

Immolation Death of Domenico


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