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Due to their proximity, Russia and Japan have a history of interesting cultural contacts. In this movie, set in the 1880s, a devoutly Christian Japanese girl has come to St. Petersburg to study the art of icon-painting at a nunnery. Icons are believed by the religious to serve as windows into heaven, so they are not made in a frivolous or superficial manner. When the girl is not studying the meaning and methodology of her chosen form of devotional craft, she has encounters with Russians in her day...more