To be a national hero even while advocating radical ideas that inflamed the young, antagonized the government, and tore asunder his own family; to flee his own home at the age of eighty-two in the dead of night accompanied by one daughter and a few retainers; to die in a remote train station and, by dying, to turn that place into a magnet for lamenting crowds and the international press: this was the fate of Count Leo Tolstoy, and the highest praise I can pay Michael Hoffmann’s film The...
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