Andrey Zvyagintsev (Loveless, Leviathan) proffers an ambitious exploration of the human condition in his second feature, The Banishment (2007). Much like his critically acclaimed debut The Return (2003), the film investigates the bonds of family, this time tackling the relationship between a husband and wife. A trip to the pastoral countryside reveals a dark, sinister reality for a family from the city. Eschewing easy answers and tackling a wide array of themes, The Banishment poetically renders the persistent human state of exile from our surroundings. Based on the novel The Laughing Matter by William Saroyan.