Sokurov inquires into the connection between art and power by focusing on the Louvre –a place Nazi authorities decided to protect during their occupation in World War II– and through the testimonies of Jacques Jaujard and Count Franz Wolff-Metternich.
A sort of sequel to The Russian Ark, Francofonia is more than a simple story of the most emblematic museum in France. For the Russian filmmaker, the Louvre is the summary of all Western culture, and we can see this in the main chapter of this essay that combines first-person reflections with archive footage and reconstructions. Through the relationship between the Louvre director and the Nazi officer who protected those world treasures against the destruction orders from his superiors, Sokurov establishes a devastating parallel between the occupation of Paris and the siege of Leningrad, between one side’s laissez faire and the other’s heroic resistance. In the end, it’s between the respect for a shared culture, and the erasing of another, despised one: the Slavonic. JP
D, G: Aleksandr Sokurov F: Bruno Delbonnel E: Alexei Jankowski, Hansjorg Weissbrich S: Andre Rigault, Jac Vleeshouwer, Ansgar Frerich M: Murat Kabardokov P: Pierre-Olivier Bardet, Thomas Kufus, Els Vandevorst, Olivier Pere, Remi Burah CP: Ideale Audience, Zero One Film, N279 Entertainment, Arte France Cinema, Le Musee du Louvre I: Louis-Do de Lencquesaing, Benjamin Utzerath, Vincent Nemeth, Johanna Korthals Altes
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He was born in 1951 in Siberia. He studied history and later entered the Moscow Film Institute. In 2002, Bafici held a Focus on his work, with screening of Spiritual Voices (1995), A Humble Life (1997) and Elegy of a Voyage (2001).