Fine documentary about Shostakovich - and surprisingly straightforward from Sokurov
The films of Russia's Alexander Sokurov can be extremely opaque, but this documentary about famed composer Dmitri Shostakovich, made early in his film career, is straightforward and very rewarding (perhaps because this time he codirected with Semen Aranovich). Made in 1980, early in Sokurov's career and just a few years after Shostakovich death, it was unreleased for a decade (though it is not clear why, since the movie in a large part shies away from dealing with the composer's problems with the authorities during Stalin's rule). It makes great use of documentary footage. A highlight of the movie is a recorded telephone conversation between Shostakovich (in his old age) and a conductor about the latter's performance of his works.
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