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Alexandra-Movie Review 02/26/2011

Posted by Films to consider in Emotional Drama, Movies, Russian language film.

Alexandra (Russian) 2007

Official Selection, Cannes Film Festival; Toronto Film Festival; New York Film Festival
Nominated, Palme D’Or, Cannes Film Festival

Directed by Alexander Sokurov
Starring Galina Vishnevskaya

This is a quietly impressive film, whose main character, Alexandra (Vishnevskaya) brings a powerful presence and bearing from the very beginning. In brief, during the second Chechen War, Alexandra visits her grandson, an army officer, on his base in a remote and desolate area that borders on enemy territory. The hardships she is willing to endure are an indication of her determination and inner strength. Others, including military officers, seem to acknowledge that in how they react to her.

Galina Vishnevskaya is a famous and beloved Russian opera singer. The DVD includes a press interview with her, Sokurov, and composer/producer Andrei Sigle. The filmmakers, who were given unusual access to actual army soldiers and local citizens, also had to endure many hardships during the filming. I strongly suggest watching the interviews first as it puts the significance of the setting and the character of the grandmother in context.

Favorite line: “My body has grown old. But my soul can still live another lifetime.”

92 min. Unrated.



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