As an interesting aside, lead actor Mamonov is himself a devout Orthodox Christian who, before converting in the 90s, was one of the Soviet Union’s most successful musicians, serving as the leader and guitarist of popular rock band Zvuki Mu. Though he still plays under that name, after conversion Mamonov left Moscow and retreated to the remote countryside. “To a large extent, he played himself,” Lungin said of Mamonov. An interesting case of art imitating life, although the word is out of Mamonov himself is able to perform miracles.

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