Thursday, March 20th 2008 at 20h30
Le Rex Bernay


Alexandra (Aleksandra)

(Feature film, Russia, 2006, 90’, Color, OVFST)

Directed by: Aleksander Sokurov
With: Galina Vishhnevskaya, Vasily Shetvtsov

Chechen Republic, present day. Russian troop positions. Alexandra Nikolaevna is a grandmother who has come to see her grandson, one of the best officers in his unit. She will spend a few days here, and will discover a new world. In this male world there are no women, no warmth or comfort. Daily life is meagre, people are shy of their feelings here. Or maybe there simply isn't time or energy for feelings. Every day and every hour questions of life and death are decided here. And yet people still live there.

“Though he's sure to deny it, "Alexandra" is Alexander Sokurov's most directly political work for years. Featuring a performance of monumental depth by opera legend Galina Vishnevskaya, pic presents war for what it is: brutal, crushing, and ugly, and yet Sokurov doesn't lens any battles. These wounds are deeper, coming from the endlessness of a war (Chechnya, but also anywhere) that bleaches the soul as surely as Sokurov's striking trademark monochrome palette. Less accessible to general auds than "The Sun," pic deserves major accolades from fests as well as discerning arthouses.”
Jay Weissberg