Alexandra

  • 92'
  • Russia
  • 2007
In 2006, Sokurov portrayed the opera diva Galina Vishnevskaya with her husband, the late cellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich, in his documentary Elegy of Life: Rostropovich Vishnevskaya. Now she is playing the stunning leading role in his latest feature. The aged Alexandra travels to Chechnya to visit her grandson Denis, who is stationed in the heart of an apparently insoluble hotbed of war. Sokurov has them meet each other in a ruined Grozny, where the grandmother apparently had less trouble making contact with the local population - even though they mistrust her at first - than with her own flesh and blood. Grandmother and grandson have not seen each other for seven years and the aggressive, martial world in which he has been stuck has severely diminished his social skills. Without showing a single drop of blood spilt, Sokurov sketches the pale and traumatised universe that is responsible for this.
While Alexandra is unmistakably political - in a direct way that is unusual for Sokurov - the film transcends the local conflict. Alexandra is not only Mother Russia and Denis is not just the dulled Russian soldier. It looks as if the director wants to build in a last humanitarian break, an alarming last moment of choice in an uncontrollable conflict that does not differ very much from so many other wars. So fictional, yet so real.

Director
Alexander Sokurov
Country of production
Russia
Production Year
2007
Festival Edition
IFFR 2008
Length
92'
Medium
35mm
Language
Russian
Producers
Andrey Sigle, Laurent Daniélou
Production Companies
Proline-film, Rezo Productions
Sales
Rezo Films
Screenplay
Alexander Sokurov
Cinematography
Alexander Burov
Editor
Sergey Ivanov
Production Design
Dmitry Malich-Konkov
Sound Design
Vladimir Persov
Music
Andrey Sigle
Cast
Galina Vishnevskaya, Vasily Shevstov
Local Distributor
A-Film Distribution